(Reuters) – Edenred beat estimates for first-quarter operating revenue on Thursday, as the French vouchers and cards provider continued to benefit from strong momentum in sales, its digital innovation strategy and inflationary trends.
The group, which helps companies manage staff expenses and benefits and is known for its “Ticket Restaurant” vouchers, posted first-quarter operating revenue of 426 million euros ($461.23 million), topping the 416 million euros forecast by analysts in a company-compiled consensus.
Vouchers and cards providers such as Edenred are benefiting from a shift to fully digital offerings and from higher inflation, with the latter offering potential for increase in the maximum face value of employee benefit cards to meet a rise in meal prices.
“We are therefore confident in our ability to maintain a sustained pace of growth for the rest of the year, driven by favorable post-Covid trends and a macroeconomic environment that strengthens the appeal of our solutions,” Chief Executive Officer Bertrand Dumazy said in a statement.
With governments and companies looking to protect employees’ purchasing power, introducing new benefits or increasing the face value of existing benefits have emerged as effective responses, the group said.
It also confirmed annual targets set in its “Next Frontier” strategic plan for 2022, namely like-for-like growth in operating revenue of more than 8% and EBITDA growth of more than 10%.
($1 = 0.9236 euros)
(Reporting by Diana Mandia and Federica Mileo; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Bradley Perrett)