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Wise profits slip on major recruitment drive

Wise profits slip on major recruitment drive

Money transfer group Wise has reported a slight decline in headline profits for the first half of 2021 due to costs associated with its flotation earlier this year and a major recruitment programme.

The company’s profit before tax was £18.8m, down from £20m in the previous year, as 688 new employees joined the firm.

Nevertheless, overall revenue increased 33% from £192.2m to £256.3m, with all geographical operating regions seeing a healthy uptake. The revenue growth is being driven by a continued growth in active customers up 23% YoY to 3.9m and transaction volumes up 44% to £34.4bn.

This comes despite a drop in fees by 6 basis points to 0.75% per transaction.

Kristo Kärmann, co-founder and CEO, says: "Over the first half of this year we've improved our products and engineered away substantial points of friction in the payments process, enabling us to sustainably lower prices while continuing to invest in growing the business for the long term. So a virtuous circle of investment continues, and our service gets faster, better and cheaper than ever for our personal and business customers."

The company is forecasting respectable annual revenue growth for FY22 in the mid-to-high 20s on a percentage basis. This is an upgrade on previous forecasts and led to an 11% jump in the company's share price.

Rob Murphy, managing director at investment research house Edison Group, comments: "Since Wise’s record-breaking direct listing in July, the company’s growth has slightly decelerated, but its industry-leading product and increasingly strong competitive position should return healthy profit growth in the coming years."

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