(Reuters) -French payment services provider Worldline reported on Wednesday a drop of 9% in first-quarter sales from a year ago, citing health restrictions in key markets, particularly Germany and Switzerland.
The group, which processes transactions for clients ranging from merchants to government agencies, said first-quarter sales reached 1.08 billion euros ($1.30 billion), below last year’s figure of 1.19 billion euros.
Worldline has benefited from a faster shift to e-commerce and online payments in the pandemic. But as Europe grapples with a third wave of infections, the latest lockdowns have hit the group hard, hammering in-store transactions, especially in Germany.
Germany is Worldline’s largest market, accounting for 20% to 25% of group sales.
The company said its integration of Ingenico was progressing, and it had already secured two-thirds of synergies expected from the acquisition.
After a wave of mergers and acquisitions among U.S. peers looking to grow their share of digital transactions and match fast-changing consumer habits and technologies, Worldline acquired more than 93% of French rival Ingenico in late October.
The company confirmed its forecast for at least mid-single digit revenue organic growth in 2021.
(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski and Juliette Portala in Gdansk; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Clarence Fernandez)