First Data Posts Annual Loss, Names Interim CEO

Press release from the issuing company

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

First Data Corporation today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012. Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter was $2.8billion, up $69 million, or 3%, compared to a year ago, primarily driven by a $55 million increase in debit network fees. Adjusted revenue, which excludes certain items including debit network fees, increased $18 million, or 1%, year-over-year to $1.8 billion.

For the fourth quarter, the net loss attributable to First Data was $179 million, compared to a loss of $69 million a year ago. The change was primarily due to a $59 million pre-tax gain recognized in other income and expense in the prior year upon disposition of a business in connection with the formation of an alliance and the establishment of valuation allowances against state net operating loss carry forwards in the current year. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) was $656 million, essentially flat compared to $655 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Consolidated revenue for the full year 2012 was $10.7 billion, flat year-over-year due to revenue growth in the global merchant acquiring business offset by lower debit network fees. Full-year adjusted revenue increased 3% to $6.76 billion. The full-year net loss attributable to First Data was $701 million, $185 million higher than the loss reported a year ago. Operating profit improved 14% or $132 million, but was more than offset by an increase in interest expense and a decline in other income and expense driven by mark-to-market losses on interest rate swaps as well as the prior year one-time gain described above. For 2012, adjusted EBITDA was $2.44 billion, up $187 million, or 8%, compared to $2.25 billion in 2011 driven by revenue growth and flat expenses.

First Data generated $767 million in operating cash flow, after $1.8 billion in cash interest payments for the full year and finished the quarter with $1.8 billion in unrestricted liquidity—$324 million in cash available for corporate use plus $1.5 billion under the revolving credit facility.

“Despite a challenging economic environment, we grew adjusted revenues by 3% and adjusted EBITDA by 8% for the full year 2012 on growth in our global acquiring business and cost containment,” said Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan J. Judge. “We continue to make investments in new product innovation around our merchant base including next-generation tablet-based point-of-sale systems. As the payments industry continues to evolve through the convergence of offline, online and mobile payments First Data intends to help lead the way in Universal Commerce.”

Today First Data also announced that its Board of Directors has named Ed Labry as interim CEO while it conducts a selection process. On Jan. 11, 2013, the company announced that Jon Judge planned to retire as CEO for health reasons and would serve until a transition was effected.

"As evidenced by appointing Ed Labry president of our North American business in 2011, I have great confidence in Ed’s leadership of First Data. Asking him to serve in this capacity makes perfect sense for continuity and stability. Ed's experience and knowledge of the company will maintain its position in a dynamic electronic payments industry," said Judge. "I will give Ed and the Board my continued support and assistance during this interim period."

"Ed Labry has spent almost 30 years of his career in the payments industry and most of that time at First Data or one of its subsidiaries, Concord EFS. He is a natural fit for us as interim CEO and will do an excellent job to ensure that the company remains focused on driving its 2013 objectives," said Board Chairman Joe Forehand. "This also allows Jon the time to focus on his health and well-being."

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead First Data and want to thank our Chairman and Board of Directors," said Labry. "First Data is absolutely in the right place at the right time to capitalize on the rapid evolution occurring within the payments industry. We have made solid progress over the past two years under Jon's leadership. We will continue to improve our business practices and structures with a laser focus on serving our customers."