Swedish payment services firm Klarna posts profit rise

STOCKHOLM, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Swedish online payment services firm Klarna, one of Europe’s highest-valued tech startups, on Monday reported sharply higher revenues and earnings for the first nine months of 2017.

Klarna said in a statement its sales rose 24 percent year-on-year to 3.16 billion Swedish crowns ($382 million) in January through September while net earnings climbed 75 percent to 349 million.

“We have welcomed many new merchant partners in recent months and this combined with our growing user base, has resulted in significantly increased volumes,” the company said in a statement.

The firm, which has 1,700 employees and operates in 18 countries, was founded in 2005 and is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital and Atomico.

Klarna is one of Europe’s so-called tech unicorns - a start-up with a valuation of more than $1 billion. ($1 = 8.2805 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Olof Swahnberg; editing by Niklas Pollard)