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Uruguay fintech firm dLocal forecasts record payment volumes in 2024

By Kylie Madry

(Reuters) -Uruguayan digital payments company dLocal on Monday forecast its total payment volumes for 2024 would increase up to 50% to hit a record $27 billion, with growth coming from its largest customers as well as less mature markets.

Adjusted core earnings, as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), are expected to grow up to 30% to $260 million, dLocal added.

The firm said it was focusing on "tightening the foundations for long-term growth" this year by investing primarily in its technology team and in operations and sales.

"We steer our business for decades, not quarters. We continue to have a high conviction in our massive opportunity," CEO Pedro Arnt said in a statement.

DLocal operates across most of Latin America as well as parts of Africa and Asia for clients such as Netflix and Amazon.

Arnt also announced several staffing changes, with co-CEO Sebastian Kanovich stepping down, though he will remain on the board. DLocal is also bringing on Mark Ortiz, who previously worked at GE Capital, as chief financial officer.

The company had told Reuters in September it was set to "pause" its rapid expansion plans to focus on strengthening existing operations in over 40 countries, hinting at a new phase for the fast-growing firm.

The guidance accompanied a 47% jump in dLocal's fourth-quarter net profit from the year-earlier period, to $28.5 million. That resulted in earnings per share of 10 cents, missing the LSEG-compiled estimate of 15 cents per share.

Profits would have reached $40.6 million if not for the firm's Argentine operation, dLocal said. The country is facing annual inflation rates in the triple digits and the local peso currency was significantly devalued in December.

Adjusted EBITDA also missed estimates, though it grew 22% to $49.2 million.

DLocal said revenues for the last three months of 2023 rose 59% to $188 million, citing "strong performance of (its) merchants across most of (its) markets."

Quarterly payments volumes grew 55% year-on-year to $5.11 billion.

(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Valentine Hilaire, Sarah Morland and Nia Williams)