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Equals Group puts in "robust" performance for the first quarter

The group said the “robust” first-quarter performance was driven by its international payments operations and corporate banking

Equals Group PLC -

Equals Group PLC (LON:EQLS), the business-to-business-focused e-banking and payments group, said revenues in the first quarter of 2020 were up 32% year-on-year at £8.3mln.

In an update, the company said its business-to-business (B2B) accounted for 67% of the revenues, up from 46% in the same quarter of 2019 and 52% for the whole of 2019.

The group said the “robust” first-quarter performance was driven by its international payments operations, where revenue was up 116% year-on-year (YOY) and corporate banking, where revenues were up 30% YOY.

As might be expected, as the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit international travel, the travel money side of the business was hit, as was the corporate expense platform, with the former seeing a 30% decline in revenues YOY and the latter an 11% fall-off.

The outlook for the second quarter is largely dictated by the length and severity of the lockdown in the UK and impact on the global economy, the company said.

The effects of COVID-19 in the first quarter varied by product with a more pronounced effect on travel money than international payments and corporate platform usage.

For the second quarter, Equals added, the early indications are that trading will be within the group's median expectations on its scenario modelling.

In line with most companies, the company has reduced its cost base during the lockdown period and is seeking to take advantage of support measures provided by the government.

"We are pleased with the resilience that business has demonstrated in Q1-2020 which reflects the underlying growth of the business in 'normal' conditions and validates our strategy over the last two years of transforming the business to one that focuses largely on B2B,” said Ian Strafford-Taylor, the chief executive officer of Equals Group.

“We have also taken decisive and prudent steps to protect the group including cost reduction measures and this combined with the continued dedication of our staff, provides us with increased confidence that we will emerge from this pandemic in a strong position," he added.

Quick facts: Equals Group PLC

Price: 29.5 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £52.69 m

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