UPDATE 1-Bill payment services provider PayPoint's Q1 revenue rises 4 pct
(Adds details on Romanian, UK and Irish businesses)
July 22 (Reuters) - PayPoint Plc, a UK-based provider of bill payment services, said first-quarter revenue rose 4 percent, driven by its retail services business and growth in Romania.
PayPoint, which provides payments and other services to utility, transport and retail companies, said revenue rose to 53 million pounds ($90 million) in the quarter ended June 30.
The company said it expected profit growth to be lower than net revenue growth in the first half of the year as it boosts spending on technology, marketing and other projects.
The spending is expected to pay off in the second half, PayPoint said.
PayPoint, whose terminals allow customers to pay gas and electric bills, top-up phones, pay rent, transfer money and even pay for parking, said it processed 189.3 million transactions in the quarter, an increase of 5 percent from a year earlier.
The company said it continued to see profitable growth in Romania, its second-largest market, where bill payment transactions rose 65 percent.
Bill and general transactions fell 4 percent in the UK and Ireland, mainly due to lower gas consumption, while retail services transactions rose 29 percent.
PayPoint, which operates 26,700 terminals in newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets and service stations and off-licences in the UK, said mobile and online transactions rose 14 percent to 36.1 million in the quarter.
PayPoint shares were untraded shortly after the start of trading on the London Stock Exchange. The stock, which closed at 1050 pence on Tuesday, has risen less than 1 percent since the start of the year.
($1=0.5859 British pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain; Editing by Ted Kerr)