Shares in SafeCharge International PLC (LON:SCH) edged up on Friday after the online secure payments group's stock was upgraded by Barclays following strong first-half profit growth, fuelled by new customer wins and a growing sales pipeline.
SafeCharge, whose technology is used by companies such as Paddy Power Betfair (LON:PPB) and Domino’s Pizza (LON:DOM), on Thursday said underlying earnings (EBITDA) rose 15% to US$18mln (£13.8mln) in the six months to the end of June on sales 26% higher at US$77.8mln.
"It is clear that its strategy to migrate the portfolio to lower risk and larger customers is paying off and, with the purge of the back-book completed, the business is accelerating," Barclays analysts wrote in a note to clients.
"It has a strong technology offering though and, with a large and expanding market, SafeCharge should benefit and become a credible acquirer, particularly in multi-source accounts," the analysts said, adding that it had also increased the group's target price to 420p from 335p.
The AIM-listed payments technology company said it had made a good start to the second half of 2018, benefiting from continued growth from its existing customers and further new client wins.
Shares in SafeCharge were flat at 306.50p in mid-morning trade.