Paymark lifts profit, sales in 2017

Paymark, the eftpos terminal provider owned by the four major banks, lifted earnings and sales in 2017, as its owners continue to search for a buyer.

The electronic payments firm saw operating revenue up 7.8% to $73.8 million in the year ended March 31, 2017, outpacing a 2.9% rise in expenses. Net profit rose 7.5% to $21 million.

The company is owned by ANZ Bank New Zealand, ASB Bank, BNZ Investments and Westpac NZ, which started a sales process in February 2016 but are yet to find a buyer. Chief executive Mark Rushworth resigned in December last year, having held the role for three years, as the sale process looked set to drag into 2017. General counsel Liam O'Reilly is acting in the role until a new head is appointed.

Paymark has more than 75% of the market for electronic point of sale terminals. In 2015 it processed more than 1.2 billion transactions with a value of more than $60 billion. There are 140,000 terminals in New Zealand, with 80,000 merchants using them.

The company declared a $16 million dividend, slightly behind 2016's $16.7 million dividend. It had $272,000 in software projects under way as at balance date, from $4.8 million in 2016.

The accounts note that Payment Express has filed proceedings against it in the High Court, under section 36 of the Commerce Act which relates to businesses taking advantage of their market power. The proceedings are in an early stage, so it's not yet possible to determine the financial impact, the company said.


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