“I hear your disappointment in the stock market, it’s all mine”, AG Instructions and Reports

It was in one of the conference halls of Cœur Défense that the joint general meeting of the fourth world payment company Worldline, the European leader in the field of transaction and payment services, took place. As with most things, this is the first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic, and especially the first since the creation of new leadership, with a division of labor between Bernard Bourgeaud, chairman of the board of directors, and Gilles Grapinet, chief executive officer. which followed the takeover of Ingenico in the last quarter of 2020. This meeting was not to be one of the busiest of the season, despite the dissatisfaction of shareholders with the fall in share prices last month. The Director General did not shy away from a topic that had come up many times during the Q&A session and decided to bring it up for discussion.

All digital payments players in the US and Europe peaked in 2021 and since then we have experienced an unusually sharp turnaround in the technology and payments sector. We have fully met the set goals in 2021, despite the pandemic and the lack of components. The main macroeconomic and geopolitical factors are behind the fall in prices. To this was added the thesis about technological breakthroughs of young companies. Was there an undifferentiated recession for everyone and, despite its results, Worldline didn’t escape it?“, said the chief.

Comparative support, historical players such as Worldline have lost 40% since their high but, even new entrants – ten years old like Adyen or Paypal – ended up losing 70%, amid a 60% overall drop in technos from 2021 highs. “Boss denounced all the violence of the market downturn, this collapse of technology that we are a part of “but who” not related to the quality of our results or our promising and solid prospects. Our new three-year plan is the most ambitious ever developed since our IPO, building on our transformation with Ingenico and our technology platform, with an expected +9% to +11% growth acceleration and gross operating margin (OMDA). ) close to 30%. “In conclusion:” What we need to do is carry out our plan.” The leader also explained that he met with many investors – more than 800 in half a year – precisely so that they “?don’t throw the baby out with the water “. Answering the shareholder, he assured: ” I fully understand your frustration with the stock market. This is completely mine. I have over 90% of my personal fortune in this company “.

Main trends unchanged

According to the CEO, three trends specific to the payments sector should give confidence and allow investors to return: the transition from cash payments to digital payments in parallel with the digitalization of the economy, and in this respect, European players have an advantage over Americans, according to 80% of payments in the Atlantic already implemented digitally compared to 50% in the Old Continent; Structurally profitable payments market with growth economies of scale and strong cash generation. ” I think the payments industry is very interesting and when the dust settles it will stand out from the tech scene. This is the story we carry, we’re a technology asset class a little bit apart “, – assured Gilles Grapinet.

The truth operation intervened after the traditional strategic and financial presentations. The Group has confirmed that it is in line with its annual targets. Likewise, the sale of former Ingenico payment terminals is on schedule and should be completed with the Apollo fund in the second half of this year. He recalled that the payment will be made in the first installment of 1.7 billion euros at closing, and then with an additional price of 900 million, depending on the performance and exit horizon of the fund.

The meeting easily adopted all the submitted resolutions (there are 39 of them). No dividends were offered. Investir had 21,561 votes for over 130 mandates.