February 26, 2020 / 7:38 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Edenred tops full-year revenue goal, looks for more acquisitions

(Quotes CEO not CFO in paragraphs 4 to 6)

Feb 26 (Reuters) - French meal vouchers and card provider Edenred beat its own full-year revenue forecast and said it was looking for new acquisitions this year.

The company said on Wednesday annual operating revenue rose 14% to 1.57 billion euros ($1.71 billion) helped by technological innovation, beating its own target of more than 7% and matching analyst estimates.

Edenred, which helps firms manage staff expenses and benefits, reported annual earnings before interest and taxes of 545 million euros, at the higher end of its guidance of between 520 and 550 million euros.

Edenred’s Chief Executive Officer Bertrand Dumazy said that integrating businesses the group has bought, which include Florida-based Corporate Spending Innovations and U.K.-based The Right Fuelcard Company group, would not prevent it from making acquisitions across all its business lines in 2020.

“Edenred is a big global group, it’s not because we integrate on one hand that we can’t buy with the other,” he told reporters.

Dumazy also confirmed that Edenred would be appealing a decision by French antitrust regulator, which fined it alongside other major French meal voucher firms, including Sodexo and Natixis, for preventing rivals from entering the market.

Edenred has received the biggest fine of 157 million euros, followed by Sodexo with 126 million euros. The Group confirmed its targets for 2020 of operating revenue growth of more than 8% and core profit growth of more than 10%. ($1 = 0.9201 euros) (Reporting by Maria Trybus and Sarah Morland Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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