DataCash Group, the Aim listed payment service provider, is pleased to provide a pre-close trading update for the year to December 31st 2008.
The Group has had a very successful year, and is confident that results for the full year will meet market expectations when the Group reports in April.
E-commerce activity has continued to grow strongly. Historically, DataCash's transaction volumes have tended to dip in December versus November due to merchant fulfilment and holidays. Our increased presence in the cardholder present environment and expansion into the travel sector, together with our merchants' improved shipping processes, combined to raise transaction volumes in December 2008.
In comparison to the November figures, December's transactions increased by approximately 6%, and overall transaction volumes rose by more than 35% over the year on a like for like basis versus 2007. The value of transactions processed rose from about £12bn to around £16bn. This reflects the growth in e-commerce, our emerging high street presence and the continued expansion of our range of payment and fraud services.
The Group continued to grow its merchant base with larger merchants, many with an international presence. The Group also renewed multi-year agreements with a significant number of its major customers. In addition, our broad range of services on offer for the UK retail market continues to attract well known high street operators. In the last year alone, our merchants deployed over 4,500 point of sale terminals in UK all of which connect to DataCash's managed payment service. A healthy order book awaits roll out in 2009 together with a strong pipeline of prospects for 2009.
The acquisition of ACK and our proposed acquisition of 3rd Man will, we believe, open up additional significant new opportunities in 2009, especially given the pressures on the High Street chains to improve efficiency, cut costs, reduce fraud exposure and adhere to the increasingly onerous Payment Card Industry standards.
The global recession is expected to provide opportunities for us, both in terms of organic growth and acquisitions, and we look forward to 2009 with anticipation rather than trepidation. The Group is confident of its future growth.
The Group also announces Mr Andrew Dark, Chief Executive Officer, has informed the Board of his wish to resign from the Group in order to take a senior position in a private equity backed company that is not in the payment service industry. While the Board is disappointed at the news it recognises the attractiveness of the opportunity, and has reluctantly accepted his resignation. Andrew Dark will remain with DataCash while we search for a replacement, but is expected to leave the company at the end of March.