Fintech firm Realex records €1.7m profit as it looks to scale business

Online payments provider processes about €35bn worth of transactions a year

Realex, the online payments service provider founded by Irish entrepreneur Colm Lyon, reported a €1.7 million pretax profit for the seven months ending December 2016.

The fintech firm, which was sold to US payments giant Global Payments in 2015 in a €115 million deal that reportedly netted Mr Lyon and his wife Niamh around €90 million, recorded revenues of €12.2 million for the same period.

Realex last year amended its reporting period to bring it in line with other group companies.

For the financial year ending May 2016, the firm reported a pretax profit of €2.99 million on turnover of €20.5 million.


“The company will continue to invest in products, systems and infrastructure as it prepares to scale the business over the next 12 months and beyond,” directors said in a note accompanying recently filed accounts.

A breakdown of turnover for the seven months ending December 2016 shows sales derived in Ireland totalled €4.3 million. Revenues from the UK amounted to €5.7 million.

The company employed 168 people with sales staff totalling €7 million.

Set up in 2000, Realex provides the technology which allows online companies accept payments from customers, known in the trade as merchant processing. It processes about €35 billion worth of transactions a year on behalf of its 14,000 clients, which include Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus and Vodafone.

Since exiting the business, Mr Lyon has established a new payments firm Fire, which provides digital accounts to businesses and personal customers based in the UK and Ireland.

Fire recently set up an office in Rise London, Europe’s largest fintech hub, as it looks to grow its business in Britain.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist