Rival of Stripe sees 22% surge in profit, ends hiring slowdown.

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Adyen, a European online payments giant, shocked the market by reporting a big miss on first-half sales, which led to a $20 billion rout in the company’s market capitalization. However, the company’s shares jumped more than 22% on the back of strong sales growth and better-than-expected profit for full-year 2023. This performance sent a strong message to investors who were concerned about the company’s aggressive spending and hiring pace, indicating that its strategy had paid off. With net revenue up 22% year-on-year and an EBITDA margin of 48% in the second half of the year, Adyen seems to be on the right track despite facing challenges from competitors and external market factors.

Adyen slowed the pace of its hiring to counter concerns of excessive spending on team expansion, while its margins were being compressed. The company’s net revenue growth was driven by its existing customer base, consistent with their underlying land-and-expand fundamentals. Furthermore, Adyen “significantly expanded” its partnership with an existing digital customer, contributing to better sales growth overall. Despite the challenging environment, Adyen demonstrated impressive performance and confidence in its mid-term execution by focusing on hiring outside of Amsterdam across tech and commercial teams, aiming to address investor concerns.

Adyen is not alone in dealing with challenges, as other payment companies such as Stripe, PayPal, and Block also faced various obstacles in 2023, resulting in pressure on valuations. Despite this, Adyen’s strong results and strategic focus on hiring and sales growth have positioned the company for further growth and market leadership in the online payments sector.

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