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Network International profit shrinks while revenue grows

Payments processed from international visitors rose 55% Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio
Payments processed from international visitors rose 55%
  • Revenue up 13%
  • Profit down 16%
  • Strong performance in UAE

High interest rates and currency devaluations dented profit at Middle East payments provider Network International last year, despite revenue rising by 13 percent.

The company posted net profit of $67 million for 2023, a drop of 16 percent year on year.

The primary impact on profit for the year came from increased financing costs as interest rates were substantially higher than the previous year. 

Network International was also affected by foreign exchange depreciation in some African markets, it said in a press statement.

The company’s revenue rose to $490 million, fuelled by strong performance in the UAE. In the Emirates the value of merchant payments processed from domestic consumers and international visitors rose 24 percent and 55 percent year on year, respectively. 

Spending from visitors across the Middle East, the UK and Europe was healthy, and there was a rebound in spending from China as tourists returned. 

Last year the provider also launched direct-to-merchant services in Egypt and has secured more than 2,000 users there. 

Earlier this year it also obtained a licence from Saudi Central Bank to expand into the kingdom.

“Our new market entry and expansion strategy is progressing well with major new client wins in Saudi Arabia and strong interest for our newly launched direct-to-merchant services in Egypt,” said Nandan Mer, CEO at Network International.  

The UAE’s National Payments Systems Strategy has a long-term aim of shifting to a cashless society, promoting digital payments and reducing physical currency and cheques. 

According to a study by Visa 67 percent of merchants who accept digital payments in the UAE claimed that consumers prefer paying by card or mobile phone.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s number of digital point-of-sale transactions increased by nearly a quarter year on year during January 2024.

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