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February 15, 2018

Western Union net loss widens in Q4

Western Union has reported a net loss of $1.12bn for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to a net loss of $355m in the year ago quarter.

The company said that results were impacted by the overhaul of the US tax rule and a $464m goodwill impairment charge.

The company also noted that it booked a $571m expense for settlement agreements with federal and state governments.

The company posted an operating loss of $253m for the quarter, compared to a loss of $314m a year ago.

The company’s operating margin for the fourth quarter stood at 17.6% as against 22.9% a year earlier.

The company generated revenue of $1.44bn during the quarter, up 5% from $1.37bn in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company’s Consumer -to-Consumer (C2C) unit revenues rose 5% on a reported basis, or 4% on a constant currency basis. Transactions increased 3%, driven by growth in C2C revenues surged 22% on both a reported and constant currency basis, on transaction growth of 22%.

Western Union Business Solutions revenues dropped 4%, or 8% on a constant currency basis, mainly owing to declines in Europe.

Other revenues, which primarily consist of the U.S. and Argentina bill payments businesses, soared 11%, or 14% on a constant currency basis. The company attributed the growth to the Speedpay US electronic and Pago Facil Argentina walk-in bill payments businesses.

Western Union president and CEO Hikmet Ersek said: “Our consumer money transfer revenue growth accelerated in the fourth quarter, and our business continued to demonstrate resilience.

“Solid business performance was again led by our digital channel, as money transfer delivered a 22% revenue increase and represented 10% of our total consumer-to-consumer business in the quarter.”

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