MILAN (Reuters) - Italian payments group Nexi on Thursday stuck to its 2022 outlook after reporting a 7.1% rise in first quarter revenue as recovering tourist flows drove "higher impact" transactions such as hotel bills.
Nexi, which is one of Europe's biggest payments firm along with France's Worldline, said volumes at its merchants' transactions business were up 38% in April, with a 162% jump in big ticket items mostly linked to travel.
The travel component in Nexi's merchant acquiring business rebounded in the first quarter to account for three-quarters of the group's pre-pandemic volume levels.
First quarter revenues totalled 712.6 million euros despite Italy easing COVID-19 restrictions later than other countries.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 17.4% year-on-year to 307.5 million euros. The EBITDA margin improved by 4 percentage points from a year ago to 43%.
Nexi said that, barring a worsening in the Ukraine crisis and assuming an exit from the pandemic in the second quarter of 2022, it confirmed an ambition for revenues to grow between 7% and 9% in the full year with the core profit up between 13% and 16%.
Nexi, which has been expanding fast through acquisitions and last year completed a merger with domestic rival SIA and Nordic peer Nets, said earlier on Thursday it had acquired 100% of Orderbird, a German company that supplies cloud-based software services to businesses in the hospitality sector to handle, for example, bookings.
The overall investment is of 100 million euros considering stakes Nexi had acquired previously.
(Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Keith Weir)