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Stripe rival Adyen's shares soar 21% as European payments giant posts profit beat, slows hiring

Shares of European online payments giant Adyen jumped on Thursday, after the company reported strong sales growth and better-than-expected profit for 2023.

Adyen, which competes with Stripe, PayPal, and Block, told shareholders in its 2023 annual letter that it had slowed the pace of its hiring to counter concerns that it was spending too aggressively on expanding its team, while its margins were being compressed.

"We feel we've really built a strong team to execute on the opportunity that we have in the upcoming years. We of course did it at a time when others weren't. "And we feel we're really well positioned given that hiring," Ethan Tandowsky, Adyen's chief financial officer, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Thursday.

"It was always intended to be a two-year accelerated investment cycle, which we've wrapped up at the end of 2023, so while we'll still make strategic investments in the team in the years ahead, it will be at a much slower rate than we did the last two years," Tandowsky added.

Shares of the company closed up more than 21%.

Here's how the company did in its full-year results:

Net revenue: 1.626 billion euros ($1.75 billion), up 22% year-on-year. That's broadly in line with expectations of 1.636 billion euros, according to LSEG, formerly Refinitiv

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization): 743.0 million euros, up 2% year-on-year. Analysts had forecast EBITDA of 254.3 million euros, per LSEG

Adyen said its net revenue growth was driven by "continued growth across our existing customer base consistent with our underlying land-and-expand fundamentals."

The company also said it "significantly expanded" its partnership with a single, unnamed existing digital customer, which contributed to