UPDATE 1-Edenred confident over Latam despite weak currencies

miércoles 12 de febrero de 2014 04:50 GYT

* 2013 EBIT 343 mln eur vs Reuters poll 347.5 mln

* CEO confident on emerging markets despite weak currencies

* Q1 trends in line with Q4 - CEO (Adds CEO comments, shares, details)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - French meal vouchers group Edenred said it was confident about growth prospects in key emerging markets in Latin America despite local currency fluctuations that dented 2013 earnings.

Edenred posted a 6.4 percent decline in full-year operating profit on Wednesday as weaker exchange rates notably in Brazil and Venezuela took their toll.

"Our business model is based on the growth of middle-income households, and this growth will take place mostly in emerging markets over the next 5-10 years," Chief Executive Jacques Stern told a conference call.

"This is why I am confident over the short and medium term. What we are seeing with emerging market currencies is a market correction, not a lasting trend."

Edenred, which also offers employee benefit management services and incentive schemes, competes with caterers Sodexo and Compass, as well as credit card networks MasterCard and Visa.   Continuación...