Shares in card payments provider EML Payments (ASX: EML) shot up to their highest levels since September last year after the Brisbane-headquartered company beat underlying earnings guidance and appointed AMP (ASX: AMP) veteran James Georgeson as its new chief financial officer (CFO) starting next month.
EML shares were up by more than 22 per cent at $0.91 at the time of writing after the group reported record revenue and higher than expected underlying earnings, although the company's problems with regulators in Ireland led to a $258.9 million after tax impairment, accounting for the lion's share of a $284.8 million net loss.
EML’s interim group chief executive officer Kevin Murphy, who has been in the position since the shock departure of Emma Shand in April, says EML has delivered a resilient underlying financial result.
"Our full year record operating revenue performance of $254.2 million was 4 per cent above the top end of guidance, and underlying EBITDA of $37.1 million, was 9 per cent above the top end of guidance," says Murphy.
"These results underscore the strength of our core business. Today’s result has been driven by a number of customer contract improvements and improved yields on our funds float.
"All three segments GPR (general purpose reloadable), gifting and digital payments showed revenue and gross profit growth on the PCP (prior corresponding period)."
He adds that progress has been made on operational priorities, but acknowledges there is more work to do in addressing the "value drag" on the business. A strategic review is ongoing with Barrenjoey aimed at maximising shareholder value.
The share market also responded positively to the news of two new appointments, including Georgeson as CFO as well as chief development officer (CDO) Peter Lang, formerly group executive at McMillan Shakespeare (ASX: MMS) who was appointed to the board in February.
Georgeson was with AMP for 22 years and most recently was group CFO of the financial powerhouse for more than three years until he left the company in December 2022.
"Mr Georgeson has significant experience in leading end-to-end finance functions and running transformative change programs, which will be a great asset to EML as it actions its operational priorities and continues the strategic review of the EML business," EML states.
Following Georgeson's appointment, interim group CFO Jon Gatt will return to his role as European CFO, having been in the interim position since January.
The company says that as CDO, Lang will provide the leadership team with greater capacity to concentrate on customers, revenue, cost reduction and product development.
"Mr. Lang will inject valuable commercial skills to ongoing strategic review activities together with key revenue initiatives," the company states.
EML highlights Lang has "taken carriage of the strategic review, supporting remediation activities including chairing the board’s regulatory remediation committee and re-negotiating interest yields on our customer float leading to material gains".
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