Weak currencies hit Edenred 2013 earnings

PARIS Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:19am EST

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PARIS Feb 12 (Reuters) - French meal vouchers group Edenred posted a 6.4 percent decline in 2013 operating profit on Wednesday as weaker exchange rates for emerging market currencies took their toll.

On a like-for-like basis, which excludes currency impacts, acquisitions and divestments, earnings rose 10.9 percent, Edenred said.

Chairman and Chief Executive Jacques Stern said in a statement he was confident in the group's ability to "meet this year's objectives and to generate strong and sustainable growth".

The company posted full-year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 343 million euros ($469.1 million), against 367 million in 2012 and below a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll average of 347.5 million.

Edenred, which makes more than 50 percent of its sales in Latin America, had warned in December that exchange rate changes in Venezuela could cut full-year operating profit by around 7.5 percent to between 340 million and 350 million euros. ($1 = 0.7312 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)

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