Plus500 shares jump on buyback
Plus500 said it has “performed well”, despite reporting a steep drop in both revenue and profitability and also slashing its dividend.
The contracts-for-difference trading provider’s revenue for the six months to June fell 68% year-on-year to USD148.0 million, with pretax profit slumping 82% to USD63.9 million.
Plus500’s net profit fell 80% to USD51.6 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation down 81% to USD65.6 million.
Plus500 will be returning USD0.2734 per share to shareholders for the period, an 80% reduction from the USD1.3786 paid out a year before. However, the firm has also announced a share buyback worth USD50.0 million.
The company said the performance was in line with expectations, with the second quarter improving on the first after financial markets volatility increased. It said the second quarter was the strongest since new product regulations came into force in August 2018.
Second quarter new customer numbers were 23% ahead of the first quarter, with active customer numbers rising 11%.
Chief Executive Asaf Elimelech said: “The group performed well during what was a difficult period for the entire industry. Financial markets from February to April were very stable, providing a limited number of trading opportunities for customers.”
“Against this backdrop, the company continued to invest in focussed marketing, with sequential increases in the number of new and active customers and in customer retention levels, as well as lower customer acquisition costs.”
“Our first half performance, and trading to date in the third quarter 2019, is consistent with current expectations for 2019. Underlying operational performance and new customer acquisition metrics remain robust,” Elimelech continued.
“We are confident we can continue to outperform our peer group in terms of customer acquisition, by maintaining the level of highly targeted marketing investment to exploit market opportunities as they appear, with these new customers expected to provide incremental revenues in due course. Overall, the board remains optimistic about Plus500’s future prospects and its potential to create value for all stakeholders.”