Sodexo’s voucher unit Pluxee plans tech hiring spree

By Federica Mileo and Diana Mandia

(Reuters) – Sodexo’s Benefits and Rewards services unit, recently renamed Pluxee, plans to hire about 1,000 people for its technology and data operations in 2024 to tap a growing market for employee benefits amid new work trends and rising inflation, its CEO Aurelien Sonet said on Monday.

Sodexo, which is benefiting from the cost-of-living crisis as employers look for ways to support staff without hiking wages, announced in April a plan to spin off and list its voucher unit on the stock exchange in 2024, betting on the good performance of the business.

“We are talking about a market potential in terms of spend from companies of roughly 1000 billion euro, so it’s massive and still quite under penetrated because many small and mid-size companies are still not providing employee benefits”, said Sonet in an interview.

Pluxee will invest 10% of its turnover in tech each year through to 2025 as the unit intends to expand its offer by helping its clients manage their employees’ hybrid working and create a satisfying work-life balance.

Mobility solutions to support the use of bikes, scooters or car sharing are also attracting clients as more companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint from commuting, Sonet said.

Smaller French rival Edenred, which joined France’s blue-chip index CAC 40 on Monday, posted in April first-quarter operating revenue growth as employers used its meal tickets and fuel cards to help staff cope with inflation.

Pluxee, which employs 5,000 in 31 countries, targets full-year organic revenue growth of close to 20% and an underlying operating profit margin of around 32%.

Sodexo’s voucher business reported a core profit of 162 million euros ($177 million) in the first half of 2023.

(Reporting by Federica Mileo and Diana Mandiá in Gdansk, Editing by Louise Heavens)