The Telekurs Group generated pre-tax operating income before interest of 53.5 (67.6) million francs in the year 2003, a decline from the previous period, despite declining demand in the financial information business and price reductions in interbank services.
As a result of an extraordinary profit from the sale of the Fininfo participation, the Telekurs Group’s annual result was higher than the previous year with 67.5 (52.6) million francs.
The Group’s operating income increased by 3.2% or 22.5 million francs to 726.8 (704.3) million francs. This result was primarily influenced by the takeover of the VISA acquiring business in June 2003 from UBS Card Center Ltd. and the first full-year revenues from the 3C-Gruppe included in the company’s financial statement, a spokesman for Telekurs said.
Turnover in the business areas Card-based Payment Systems and Electronic Payment Systems turnover increased by 39.3 million francs to 451.3 million francs. This was partly due to the fact that price reductions, some of which were considerable, were compensated for with positive volume increases, the company said. In the Financial Information Services business area, declining demand and massive price pressure led to a corresponding decrease in turnover of 18.8 million francs to 240.1 million francs.
Operating expenses for the Telekurs Group, with 673.3 (636.7) million francs, were 5.7% higher than the previous year. Despite an increase in turnover and acquisitions, personnel costs remained stable and numerous expense items decreased. The increase of the remaining operating expenses was due to greater compensation to the issuers in the credit card business.
The Telekurs Group is active in the areas of card-based payment transactions, electronic payment systems and international financial information.