February 22, 2019 / 6:23 AM / 3 months ago

Edenred 2018 EBIT rises; confident of strong growth in 2019

PARIS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - French meal vouchers and card provider Edenred on Friday reported higher earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for 2018, and expressed confidence over its strong growth in all regions and business lines this year.

Edenred, which helps firms manage staff expenses and benefits and is best known for its ‘Ticket Restaurant’ vouchers, also hiked dividend by 1.2 percent.

Edenred, which competes with caterers Sodexo and Compass as well as credit card networks MasterCard and Visa, said 2018 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached 461 million euros ($522.64 million), against 429 million in 2017, according to a company statement.

The company’s guidance was for a 2018 EBIT between 440 million euros and 470 million euros.

Edenred said that it expected to achieve its annual organic growth targets set for the medium-term again in 2019.

Edenred, which last year decided against buying a stake in French payments company Ingenico, has bought U.S. firm Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI) for around $600 million.

$1 = 0.8821 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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