Dollar strength masks first-half progress at Boku

Mobile payments provider Boku said in an update on Wednesday that first-half payments revenue was expected to be at least $30.3m, broadly in line with the $30.7m it reported last year.

The AIM-traded firm said that on a constant currency basis, revenue would have been $2.5m higher for the six months ended 30 June, representing growth of 7%.

Payments-adjusted EBITDA was expected to be around $9.5m, down from $11.1m year-on-year.

Adjusting for a foreign exchange impact of $2m, EBITDA showed growth of 4% against the same period in 2021, reflecting increased investment in the mobile-first network.

Group profit before tax was set to total around $29.5m, rising from $1.9m, including the profit on the disposal of Boku’s identity division of $24m, net of disposal costs.

Group cash totalled $67.8m as at 30 June, up from $38m a year ago.

The group was now debt-free following the disposal of the identity division in February, and operating cash generation in the period.

It said its average daily cash balance – a measure which smooths out the effect of carrier and merchant payments – was $63.3m in June, compared to $38m at the same time last year.

“Boku is now a pure-play payments business,” said chief executive officer Jon Prideaux.

“The significant depreciation of most major currencies against the dollar should not obscure the real progress that the business has made in the last year.

“Growth in our key metrics is strong.”

Prideaux said that, underpinned by the firm’s “leading position” in direct carrier billing, the number of monthly active users increased 22%.

“We saw explosive growth in the non-direct carrier billing local payment methods usage, up elevenfold, driven by deployments with the world’s leading music and video streaming companies, the world’s leading social networks and leading games companies.

“It’s still early days for these payment methods and I look forward to the future with confidence.”

At the close on Wednesday, shares in Boku were up 7.34% at 95p.

Reporting by Josh White at