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First Data narrows Q1 net losses

04 May 2015  |  3444 views  |  0 Source: First Data

First Data Corporation today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015. Consolidated revenue for the first quarter was $2.7 billion, up 2% versus the prior year period.

Adjusted revenue, modified for items such as the exclusion of pass-through debit network fees and postage, was up 2% versus the prior year period to $1.7 billion or 5% excluding currency impacts, compared to 4% for full year 2014.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) was $563 million, down 8% versus the prior year period or down 6% excluding currency impacts, as revenue growth was offset by increased expenses as a result of continued growth-related investments and the non-recurrence of $17 million of expense credits in the prior year period. EBITDA margin for the quarter was 34%, down 3 percentage points versus the prior year period.

"Our first quarter reflected good business momentum and validated our strategy," said Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano. "We continue to invest aggressively in key areas of our business such as distribution and new products, and are beginning to see the revenue growth associated with those investments.”

First Data also announced a strategic expense management initiative to optimize its annualized expense base by $200 million by mid-2016. Anticipated restructuring costs will be $75 million, mainly cash, and will be recognized beginning in the second quarter of 2015. The company will continue to invest in strategic growth initiatives across all segments.

For the first quarter, the net loss attributable to First Data was $112 million, a 44% improvement from the $201 million loss in the prior year period. Driving the year over year improvement were reductions in interest expense and income taxes as well as an increase in other income. The quarter over quarter change from net income to net loss was largely driven by the seasonal variance in revenue.

Adjusted net income, which modifies net income for items such as the amortization of acquisition intangibles, stock-based compensation, restructuring costs, and other items was $40 million, up $49 million versus the prior year period.

For the first quarter, the company had a net use of $102 million in cash flow from operations after $561 million in cash interest payments. The company finished the quarter with $687 million in unrestricted liquidity.

Segment Results

Merchant Solutionssegment revenue for the first quarter was $888 million, up 4% versus the prior year period, adversely impacted by one percentage point (or $13 million) due to the sale of Electronic Funds Source (EFS). Merchant acquiring revenue increased 6% versus the prior year period due to transaction growth and revenue from our merchant suite of solutions. Product revenue declined 3% versus the prior year period, adversely impacted by 6 percentage points due to the sale of EFS; strength in equipment revenue was partially offset by the continued decline in check processing. Segment EBITDA was $368 million, roughly flat versus the prior year period, primarily due to investments in distribution and innovation and adversely impacted by $6 million due to the EFS sale. EBITDA margin for the first quarter was 41%, down 2 percentage points versus the prior year period.

Financial Services segment revenue for the first quarter was $372 million, up 7% versus the prior year period, driven by the continued benefit from new business wins, growth in existing portfolios and network revenue. Segment EBITDA was $180 million, up 4% versus the prior year period. EBITDA margin for the first quarter was 48%, down 2 percentage points versus the prior year period due to investments.

International segment revenue for the first quarter was $398 million, down 5% versus the prior year period. On a constant currency basis, revenue was up 7% versus the prior year period. On a constant currency basis, merchant acquiring revenue was up 11% due to volume growth and issuing revenue was up 3%. Segment EBITDA was $97 million, down 24% versus the prior year period and down 16% on a constant currency basis due to increased investments, most notably in Brazil. EBITDA margin for the first quarter was 24%, down 6 percentage points versus the prior year period. The prior year period was impacted favorably by expense credits which positively impacted prior year period margin by 4 percentage points and EBITDA by $17 million. 

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