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Retail technology firm PayPoint has posted a rise in first half revenues and comparable profits despite a “challenging and unpredictable economic environment”.

The group posted a 6% rise in net revenues from continuing operations to £59.5m in the half year to 30 September, driven by strong e-commerce performance and growth across all divisions.

Shopping divisional net revenue increased by 3.2% to £30.8m, driven by the growth of its PayPoint One estate, the annual RPI increase and further enhancements to retailer and SME propositions, including the launch of the new Android terminal in the Handepay cards business and the continued rollout of ‘Counter Cash’.

E-commerce divisional sales jumped 45.7% to £3m and transactions grew by 60.6% to 23m through its e-commerce technology platform, Collect+. This was driven by “excellent” volumes, including a number of weeks reaching over 1 million parcels processed, driven by strength in clothing/fashion categories, the continued expansion of new services with carrier partners and the in-store experience investments made in Zebra label printers over the past 18 months.

Payments and banking divisional net revenue increased by 6.1% to £25.7m thanks to a strong performance in the energy sector and continued growth in digital transactions

Profit before tax from continuing operations excluding exceptional items nudged up £0.4m to 22.5m after the impact of a one-off provision of £0.7 million for outstanding funds due from McColls with a claim being filed with the administrator

Statutory profit before tax fell to £21m from £55m, largely due to the profit on disposal of £30.0 million for the Romanian business received in the first half of its 2022 financial year.

It continues to be active in M&A, with the £83m acquisition of Appreciate group announced on 7 November, while it disposed of Snappy Shopper for £5.5m in October.

CEO Nick Wiles commented: “This has been a positive half year for the PayPoint Group where we have continued to build momentum across the business and remain confident in delivering further progress in the current year. The acquisitions made over the past two years have made a strong contribution to the results delivered across all three of our business divisions, whilst our continued focus remains on the delivery of our strategic priorities, a strong operational performance and maintaining a tight control of our cost base.

“In a challenging and unpredictable economic environment, the transformation of our business continues, reflecting a rebalancing towards growth opportunities and delivering improving returns to shareholders. In addition to the progress made in the first half, we have again demonstrated the role our retailer network plays in supporting their communities and providing a range of services vital to combatting the current Cost of Living crisis.

“Against this uncertain market background, our compelling characteristics of strong cash flow, resilient earnings and growth mean we remain confident of the progress we are making in the transformation of our business and delivering expectations for the year”

PayPoint shares are up 0.9% this morning to 539p.

Morning update

PZ Cussons has appointed David Tyler as a non-executive director and future chair, joining the board at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting today.

It is expected he will become chair of the board following the expiry of the term of office of current chair, Caroline Silver, on 31 March 2023.

Tyler currently serves as the chair of Domestic and General and has previously served as Chair of Sa’sinsbury’s, Hammerson and Logica.

The first eleven years of his career were at Unilever and, in more recent years, he was a non-executive director on the Board of Reckitt Benckiser and has also sat on the boards of Experian and Burberry.

Caroline Silver said: “I am exceptionally proud of the progress PZ Cussons has made as a business, particularly in the last two years when we have accelerated the pace of change. I want to thank all those with whom I have worked in my time as Chair - from fellow Board members to all of PZ Cussons’ brilliant colleagues and our supportive shareholders.

Tyler added: “I am very pleased to be joining the Board at such an exciting time. PZ Cussons is a business I have watched with great interest for some time, with strong brands across an international footprint. Following the work of the last two years, I believe it is well positioned for profitable growth in the period ahead. I very much look forward to working with Jonathan Myers, the rest of the Board and all PZ Cussons colleagues as we work to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.”

Elsewhere, Mothercare has appointed of Daniel Le Vesconte as the group’s CEO, joining in the new calendar year.

He has previously held senior leadership roles for several globally recognised brands including Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister and Gilly Hicks (A&F Corp) Dr Martens, the Wolverine Worldwide group of brands and Vans and Reef (VF Corp).

Commenting on the appointment, Clive Whiley, chairman said “I am delighted that Dan is joining Mothercare as our CEO. Dan’s extensive experience in the retail direct-to-consumer, wholesale and licensing sector will be a great asset to the team and me as we focus upon restoring critical mass and driving the Mothercare brand globally over the next five years.”

Le Vesconte, said: “I am very excited to be part of the Mothercare team and look forward to working with our global stakeholders to spearhead the growth of the iconic Mothercare brand into the next generation.”

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened flat at 7,462pts.

Risers include THG, up 4.2% to 68.5p, Greencore, up 3.7% to 73p and Just Eat, up 3.7% to 1,866p.

Fallers include Science in Sport, down 3.5% to 14p, Imperial Brands, down 2.7% to 2,125p and McBride, down 2.7% to 22p

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 ended the day marginally up 0.2% 7,465.2pts yesterday.

Digital players were amongst the major risers, with THG up 4.2% to 65.7p, Ocado, up 4.2% to 657.6p and Deliveroo up 2.8% to 89,2p.

Other risers included B&M European Value Retail, up 3.3% to 414p, Associated British Foods, up 2.6% to 1,560p, FeverTree, up 2.5% to 1,163p, Marks & Spencer, up 2.3% to 125.7p, AG Barr, up 2.1% to 506p and Kerry Group, up 2.1% to 94.3p.

Fallers included Bakkavor, which lost 5.8% to 88.9p after the prepared foods group warned annual profits would be at the lower end of forecasts as volumes took a hit from the squeeze on consumer spending power.

Other fallers included Pets at Home, down 5.1% to 288.6p, Finsbury Food Group, down 2.2% to 89p, Cranswick, down 1.6% to 158p, Hilton Food Group, down 1.5% to 535p and McBride, down 0.7% to 22.6p.