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Voucher group Pluxee raises guidance after strong first half

Logo of Pluxee at the company headquarters in Paris

By Stephanie Hamel

(Reuters) -French voucher and benefits company Pluxee raised its full-year organic sales growth target on Friday, after delivering a strong half-year performance in its first earnings report since its Euronext Paris debut in February.

Citing a favourable macro environment, Pluxee is now targeting between a 15% and 17% increase in its organic revenue growth for the year, compared with the low double-digit percentage increase it forecast in January.

"This is the result of a very good sales performance. Over the last two years, we've seen very good momentum, but it's a momentum that's continuing, both in terms of signing new customers ... development and annual volumes," CEO Aurelien Sonnet told Reuters in an interview.

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Pluxee shares were up 8.3% at 27.53 euros per share at 0744 GMT.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 201 million euros ($214 million) for the September to February period, representing 28% organic growth compared with the previous year.

Employers have been turning to voucher companies like Pluxee to support staff without having to increase wages, and to offer perks to encourage workers to return to the office rather than work from home.

"Reporting as a listed standalone company for the first time, Pluxee is off to a good start, and we continue to believe that the biggest driver of the investment case, in our view, is the sustainable growth of the core operating business", said JP Morgan in a note.

Pluxee said all regions where it operates reported double-digit organic growth during the period, due to higher volumes linked to contract wins and client net retention, among other things.

The group maintained its mid-term guidance of low double-digit percentage organic sales growth until 2026.

Competitor Edenred on Thursday reported first-quarter operating revenue that beat estimates with a growth of 18.8% to 625 million euros.

($1 = 0.9402 euros)

(Reporting by Stéphanie Hamel; Editing by Tom Hogue and Jane Merriman)