February 28, 2018 / 8:11 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-France's Teleperformance beats results expectations, lifts dividend

(Recasts with dividend increase, adds detail)

Feb 28 (Reuters) - French telemarketing and teleservices provider Teleperformance proposed a significant increase to its dividend on Wednesday after posting better than expected full-year results.

The company reported like-for-like 2017 revenue up 9 percent at 4.2 billion euros ($5.13 billion), driven by Iberian and Latin American markets, while strict cost discipline helped to boost profitability, with its 13.3 percent EBITA margin meeting the company’s guidance of 13 percent-plus.

“Teleperformance delivered another record year in 2017 ... our organic revenue growth was significantly higher than that of the market and reflected the strong momentum of our two business lines, core services and specialised services,” Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Julien said.

The results led the group to increase its annual dividend by 42 percent to 1.85 euros per share.

The company, which is redirecting its services towards social media and digital assistants, had previously revised its annual like-for-like revenue growth target to more than 7 percent on the back of “encouraging first-half results”.

The Iberia-LATAM region registered a 22.4 percent increase in like-for-like revenue growth while revenue in English-speaking markets and the Asia-Pacific, the company’s largest region, grew by 1.6 percent.

Reassured by last year’s results, the Paris-based group expects a like-for-like revenue growth above 6 percent this year and further profit margin growth to 13.5 percent despite the decline in the U.S. dollar against the euro.

Currency effects had a negative impact of 72 million euros on consolidated revenue, Teleperformance said. ($1 = 0.8193 euros) (Reporting by Nolwenn Brossier in Gdynia Additional reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic Editing by David Goodman)

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