The joint general meeting of the fourth global payments giant, Worldline, the European leader in transactions and payment services, was held in a conference room at Cœur Défense. Like most people, this is the first face-to-face encounter since the pandemic and especially the first since the establishment of a new governance – with the job separation between Bernard Beuregaud, Chairman and Gil Grapenet, CEO – that followed the acquisition of Ingenico in the last quarter of 2020. This has not been the case. The meeting was one of the most eventful of the season and it wasn’t despite shareholder dissatisfaction with the stock price drop in the past month. Far from evading the topic that was repeated in the question-and-answer session, the General Manager chose to bring it to the table.
” All digital payment operators, in the US and Europe, reached their highest levels in 2021, and since then we have seen an unusually violent transformation in the technology and payment sector. We have fully met our targets in 2021 despite the pandemic and shortage of ingredients. Behind the price decline are fundamental macroeconomic and geopolitical factors. In addition, the thesis on technological breakthroughs presented by young companies. There was an undifferentiated retreat for everyone, and despite its results, the Worldline did not get away with it ‘ the chief noted.
Comparative support, historical players, such as Worldline, have lost 40% since their highs but, ” Even new entrants – who debuted ten years ago like Adyen or Paypal – finally lost 70%, on the back of an overall techno drop of 60% compared to their 2021 highs. The chief denounced All the violence of the market downturn, from this crash on the technologies that we are a part of “, but who “ It is not related to the quality of our results or to our promising and solid prospects. Our new three-year plan is the most ambitious ever since our IPO, building on our transformation with Ingenico and our technology platform, with acceleration in growth, projected from +9 to +11%, operating gross margin (OMDA) of approximately than 30%. “finally:” What we have to do is implement our plan.” The director also explained that he met with many investors – more than 800 in six months – so that “ Do not throw the baby with the bath water In response to one of the contributors, he asserted: “ I totally hear your frustration in the stock market. It is completely mine. I have more than 90% of my personal wealth in this company “.
Fundamental directions intact
For the CEO, three trends specific to the payments sector should give confidence and enable investors to come back: the shift from cash to digital payments in parallel with the digitization of the economy, and in this regard, European players have an advantage over Americans, with 80% of payments already digital compared to 50% on the Old Continent; A structurally profitable payments market with economies of scale with impacts associated with growth and strong cash generation. ” I think the payment industry is very interesting and when the dust settles it will stand out among the technologies. This is the story we carry, we are a class of technology assets that are slightly far apart ‘ Jill Grapenet confirmed.
Operation Truth intervened after traditional strategic and financial offerings. The group confirmed that it is in line with its annual goals. Similarly, the decommissioning of Ingenico’s former payment terminal activities is on schedule, and should be completed with the Apollo Fund in the second half of this year. He pointed out that the payment will be made with a first part of 1.7 billion euros at closing, then an additional price of 900 million euros, depending on performance and the horizon of exit from the fund.
The meeting easily adopted all the resolutions presented (39 in issue). Dividends are not proposed. Investir received 21,561 votes from over 130 deputies.