February 21, 2018

Three reasons why WEX revenues grew by 23% in 2017

File Photo / Tim Greenway
File Photo / Tim Greenway
Melissa Smith, president and CEO of Wex Inc., reported today the company's 2017 year-end financials, which show that its full-year revenue grew 23% to $1.25 billion from $1.02 billion in 2016.

Fourth quarter 2017 performance metrics

  • Average number of vehicles serviced was approximately 11.3 million, an increase of 8% from the fourth quarter of 2016

  • Total fuel transactions processed increased 6% from the fourth quarter of 2016 to 130.8 million. Payment processing transactions increased 9% to 108.8 million

  • U.S. retail fuel price increased 17% to $2.68 per gallon from $2.30 per gallon in the fourth quarter of 2016

  • Travel and Corporate Solutions purchase volume grew 17% to $7.4 billion, from $6.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016

  • Health and Employee Benefits Solutions average number of SaaS accounts in the US grew 29% to 9.8 million from 7.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2016.

WEX President and CEO Melissa Smith had strong numbers to report to shareholders today, with total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 increasing 14% year-over-year to $331.3 million and full year revenues increasing 23% to $1.25 billion from $1.02 billion in 2016.

Reason No. 1: In a phone interview with Mainebiz this morning, Smith said the company's record revenues in 2017 are driven, first and foremost, by WEX's 3,000 employees around the world.

"It's the people who make the connections, day-by-day, with our customers and help them achieve their goals," she said. "It's that sense of connectedness, regardless of where they might work, that differentiates us as a company. The people here really care about the success of our customers."

As WEX has grown into a worldwide company providing corporate payment solutions in its three business segments — fleet, travel and corporate payments and health and employee benefits — Smith said the company has put greater emphasis on investing in its employees and culture. It now has a leadership development program in which emerging company leaders are paired with coaches who mentor them for a year.

The company also brings to Maine each summer its top 150 managers worldwide to build their sense of being part of the WEX team and to "make sure we are nurturing the culture of the company," she said.

WEX also rolled out in 2017 a "sabbatical program" to give employees the opportunity to take a break from their regular work and explore personal interests. Coupled with the parental leave program launched in September 2016 — which is gender neutral and provides an additional six weeks of paid leave to all eligible new moms and dads beyond the six-to-eight-week maternity leave policy — Smith said WEX is sending a message to both prospective new hires and current employees that "our success is dependent upon our employees."

Reason No. 2: The second driver of 2017's record revenues, Smith said, is the "momentum" WEX gained from both signing up new businesses, such as the three-year fleet card contract signed in December with Verizon, which operates one of the largest private vehicle fleets in the U.S., as well as renewing contracts with several major clients, such as the 10-year extension in October of its fleet card contract with Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc., which has more than 500 convenience stores in six states.

"This gives us tremendous momentum going into 2018," Smith said.

Reason No. 3: Finally, Smith said WEX's products across all three of its business segments have continued to add mobile capabilities, scalability and strong data analytics to their payment platforms.

MarketWatch reported at 10 a.m. today that WEX shares were selling at $153.09, up 11.5% from the previous day's closing price of $141.59.

Read more

WEX Inc. posts fifth straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth

WEX breaks ground on its new Portland headquarters

Fleet business drives big gain in WEX sales

WEX partners with GasBuddy to target the consumer market

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