Edenred Earnings Call Nuggets: Belgium Outlook & France and the Rest of Europe

Edenred SA (EDEN) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Belgium Outlook

Nick O’Donohoe – JPMorgan: Just a couple of questions. The first one related to the business in Belgium and specifically some stories in the weekend newspapers that we’re talking about a group of politicians and a merchant group, which were campaigning against meal vouchers in favor of a salary supplement. I wondered if you could perhaps talk to us a little bit about those new stories and also give us an indication of how big Belgium is for your business?

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Loic Jenouvrier – CFO in charge of Legal Affairs: Well, Belgium is a medium size country for us in Europe, while as you have read and heard a bit of noise in Belgium in the last days. What I can say today its — these are isolated political statement, maybe illustrating of fight between Flemish and the Walloons, and obviously there is absolutely no official project related to that, so now it’s in the media.

Nick O’Donohoe – JPMorgan: Obviously, the other question was relating to operating revenue with issue volume. You mentioned there is EUR207 million this quarter. Can you give us the comparable number for Q1, 2012?

Loic Jenouvrier – CFO in charge of Legal Affairs: I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understood, please say your question?

Nick O’Donohoe – JPMorgan: Sure. So, you give us the operating revenue with issue volume number for Q1, 2013 of EUR207 million?

Loic Jenouvrier – CFO in charge of Legal Affairs: Yeah.

Nick O’Donohoe – JPMorgan: Did you provide last year that that same comparable number for Q1 2012?

Loic Jenouvrier – CFO in charge of Legal Affairs: I’m sure we did. Maybe, I don’t have the number in mind. But just one minute, operating revenue with issue volume in Q1 2012 was EUR199 million.

France and the Rest of Europe

James Ainley – Citi: I’ve have got questions please. Firstly, can you discuss the disparity between like-for-like at financial revenue growth in France and then quite big declines in like-for-like financial revenue in the rest of Europe, why is that disparity very significant? Then secondly, I wonder if you could outline what the impact of the recent proposed changes of the U.K. Childcare Voucher would be to your business?

Loic Jenouvrier – CFO in charge of Legal Affairs: Well for your first question, it’s true that in Q1 we had 5% growth in our financial revenue in France, which is different than in Europe, but it’s quite simple. This increase is linked to first, a positive impact from investment made of progressive interest rate that we did last year, so mechanically we have a better reach on our investment compared to last year and also due to the fact that in Q1 even if the volume is roughly stable we have a growth of the float in terms of investment of roughly 4%. But having said that James you have to bear in mind we are talking about small number of deal because 5% growth, we are talking about less than EUR300,000, so it’s not something which is very significant and obviously from the total Group overview we confirm that we will have a decline in the financial revenue for 2013. So, this is for your first question. While for your second question regarding the U.K., the government announced a change in the (childcare voter system), but in reality there is no change in the current system for companies already benefiting from it but the government is adding or wants to add a new complementary system which is close to a public social program people will be able to subscribe it through the government. So far there are still discussions on how the new scheme will be implemented and the consultation is in progress of which of course we are taking (tout) and this process should go on until the end of summer. Last but not least, this new system is planned to be implemented in September 2015. So, today frankly there is nothing really concrete about that.