* Q1 revenues dropped 9% to 1.08 billion euros
* Sticks with FY targets, already seeing recovery in Germany
* Sees opportunities from consolidation, Wirecard collapse
April 21 (Reuters) - French payments firm Worldline
expects a recovery in sales from this quarter as COVID-19
lockdowns ease, after a drop in the first three months of the
year, it said on Wednesday.
The company, which processes transactions for clients
ranging from merchants to government agencies, also said it saw
opportunities to pick up assets being sold by European banks and
to win business after the collapse of rival Wirecard
"We expect a rather positive outlook for this second
quarter," finance chief Eric Heurtaux told a media call.
Worldline confirmed its 2021 financial guidance, including a
minimum mid-single digit percentage rise in underlying revenues,
which Jefferies analysts said was realistic as COVID-19
restrictions ease in key markets and year-on-year comparatives
Payments processing firms have seen a surge in business as
people switch to digital transactions, but the closure of shops,
restaurants and other businesses in lockdowns have hit demand.
Worldline's first-quarter revenues dropped 9% to 1.08
billion euros ($1.30 billion), hit by lockdowns, particularly in
Germany and Switzerland.
However, the company is already seeing a pick up in Germany,
its largest market, accounting for 20-25% of sales.
"We have actually observed very high rebounds in transaction
volumes at the end of the first quarter in Germany," chief
executive Gilles Grapinet said.
Barclays analysts expect double-digit growth for the next
Grapinet pointed to consolidation opportunities across
Europe and potential new partnerships following the collapse of
"A certain number of European banks have initiated either
disposal processes in their portfolio of payment activities, or
seek industrial or business partners to strengthen their
development and growth capacities," he said, without identifying
Worldline said a strategic review of its payment terminal
business was on track to be completed this year.
"All options are still on the table," Grapinet said.
($1 = 0.8326 euros)
(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski and Juliette Portala in Gdansk.
Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Mark Potter)