September 9, 2014 / 7:39 AM / 5 years ago

SafeCharge raises forecasts, pays first dividend

LONDON (Reuters) - Online payments company SafeCharge raised its profit forecast on Tuesday and announced its first dividend payment since listing on the London stock market this year.

Shares in the company rose 4 percent to 224p by 0720 GMT, having increased in value by more than a third since joining London’s Alternative Investment Market in April.

“The directors are pleased to announce that both revenues and EBITDA for the full year to December 31, are expected to be materially ahead of current market expectations,” the company said.

SafeCharge provides payment services to online businesses in sectors including sports betting and the foreign exchange trading sector. It is majority owned by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi.

Revenue in the first six months of 2014 increased by 77 percent to $34.4 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) more than doubled to $10.8 million.

Shore Capital, the company’s broker, is now forecasting EBITDA of $23 million over the year as a whole, upgrading an earlier estimate of $20.8 million.

The company is looking at expansion through acquisition and has a cash balance of $142 million.

Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by David Goodman

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