UPDATE 1-Brazil's Cielo beats profit estimate as revenue surprises
(Rewrites throughout to add details, poll comparisons)
SAO PAULO, July 29 (Reuters) - Profit at Cielo SA , Brazil's largest card payment processor, fared better than expected in the second quarter, after income from receivables prepayment and better pricing helped propel revenue.
Barueri, Brazil-based Cielo earned net income of 907.6 million reais ($273 million) last quarter, more than the 880 million reais forecast in a Reuters poll. Profit jumped an annual 14 percent but fell 2 percent from the prior quarter, according to a statement late on Wednesday.
Higher merchant discount rates and increased processing activity at the so-called Cateno joint venture with shareholder Banco do Brasil SA helped offset slower debit and credit card transaction volumes in the quarter. Net revenue soared 52 percent to 2.80 billion reais, yet below the poll's estimate of 2.81 billion reais for the quarter.
For the first time, Cielo's quarterly financial statements fully consolidated Cateno. Income from prepayment of receivables rose 35 percent, about twice the increase forecast in the poll, after domestic borrowing costs climbed.
Excluding Cateno's results, which started operations earlier in the year, profit attributed to the company's shareholders was 956.6 million reais. Management led by Chief Executive Officer Rômulo Dias will discuss quarterly results at a conference call on Thursday.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operational profits known as EBITDA, soared 42 percent on an annual basis to 1.356 billion reais, beating the poll's estimate of 1.34 billion reais. The so-called EBITDA margin slipped to 48.5 percent of revenue, in line with the poll.
($1 = 3.3262 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Aluísio Alves; Editing by Grant McCool)
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