News Column

Plus500 Reiterates Confidence In Expectations, Ups Interim Dividend

August 13, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith

LONDON (Alliance News) - Online trading company Plus500 Ltd Wednesday reiterated confidence in meeting market expectations for the full year and upped its interim dividend as pretax profit rose in the half year to end-June.

The company proposed an interim dividend of USD0.235, up from its maiden interim dividend of USD0.07 in the previous year. The company said this was in line with its intention to pay no less than 50% of its retained profits each year as dividends.

Plus500 posted a pretax profit of USD73.1 million, up from USD20.5 million in the previous year, as revenue rose to USD106.2 million from USD44.7 million.

The company said that whilst its customer acquisition slowed in its second quarter, it had seen margins remain strong as it saw average revenue per user rise 76% to USD1,508 from USD898 in the previous year. This was driven by sales and marketing activities during the period, including its affiliate programme, and online marketing campaigns.

Plus500 said that its core "contracts for difference" market continued to establish itself in the wider retail investment community as investors sought more diverse financial instruments to trade. Its UK business continued to grow market share, it said, benefiting from a strong and volatile new issues equity market.

Additionally, it continued to make progress in Australia, as it began initiatives to raise its brand awareness and gain traction with customers.

It will evaluate bolt-on acquisitions which might provide it with an established customer base, or a regulatory licence in a jurisdiction it does not currently have one, it said.

Plus500 said its trading in its current third quarter has continued to be strong.

Liberum Capital reiterated its Buy rating in the company, saying that despite a recent lack of market volatility, Plus500 is well placed to performance as volatility rises.

Volatility in financial markets has been particularly low over the second quarter, but that has started to change, and analysts say that as the US Federal Reserve ends its quantitative easing programme, expected in October, and geopolitical tensions continue to rise, so too will market volatility.

Liberum believes Plus500 is well placed to benefit from this, particularly as it has a cost-effective business model and currently trades at a discount to its peers.

Shares in Plus500 were trading down 0.8% at 516.00 pence Wednesday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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