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UK fintech Wise's revenue rises as money transfer volumes soar

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By Emma-Victoria Farr

LONDON (Reuters) -Money transfer company Wise Plc, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in July, lifted its full-year revenue growth forecast on Tuesday after seeing it jump by a third in the first half.

Shares in the company, one of Britain's most well-known fintech "unicorns", rose as much as 9% in early trade, taking them back above the 800 pence mark they listed at.

Wise said revenue in the six months to Sept. 30 totalled 256.3 million pounds ($341.34 million) and that full-year revenue growth could be as high as 30%, up slightly from guidance it gave in October of around 20-25%.

"This is down to reduced prices for customers and the fact that the previous comparable year was a pandemic," said Chief Financial Officer Matt Briers.

Wise said its payments also became speedier with 40% of all transfers delivered instantly in the second quarter.

Wise was valued at $11 billion in July when it completed the first direct listing on the London Stock Exchange - or one without a public offering of shares - in what was also London's biggest ever tech listing.

The company's adjusted EBITDA margin - a measure of profitability - was 24% in the first half of the current financial year, 2.7 percentage points lower than last year which it said was due to planned product investment.

"These results show the momentum Wise has with its customers," Briers said, adding that it is still on a mission to "move money faster, cheaper, and in more regions."

The company expanded its customer base to include 3.9 million customers in the second quarter, an increase of 23% on a year earlier. Wise will launch debit cards in Canada on Tuesday, Briers said.

In total, the money transfer company transferred over 34 billion pounds ($45.28 billion) for its customers in the period, up 44% on a year ago.

($1 = 0.7509 pounds)

(Reporting by Emma-Victoria FarrEditing by Rachel Armstrong and Susan Fenton)

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