Plus500 releases trend-bucking H1 results with net profit up a staggering 249%

As the continual downturn in volumes for many firms has prevailed into the second half of 2014, one particular firm is demonstrating that it is still possible to remain efficient and profitble. On this basis, CFD broker Plus500 (LON:PLUS) has today announced its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2014, which indicate very strong performance across the board.

Just a year has passed since Plus500 completed its transformation into a publicly listed company. Since then, the company’s fortunes have increased dramatically, showing that efficient, relatively mid-sized businesses can prove highly effective in  the retail FX sector.

When viewing the results on a quarterly basis, Plus500 began this year with a flying start, reporting a 207% increase in first-quarter revenues for this year compared to the period January to March 2013, with today’s H1 results showing that the second quarter of this year generated slightly less revenues than the first quarter of 2014 by approximately 24%. Despite this, the firm’s second quarter still represents strength when considering the general conditions industry wide.

Perhaps a point to consider is that comparing the first quarter of 2014’s 207% increase in revenues over the first quarter of 2013, shows that when the first six months of this year are considered, the increase on a half yearly basis appears less of a gain, at 138%. This can perhaps be attributed to last summer’s industry-wide volume increases which mostly occurred during the second quarter of last year, tailing off as the summer came to an end, and not recovering since. It is therefore clear that in the case of Plus500, the quarterly results when dissected, are indicative of continually increasing performance.


Financial Highlights

· Revenues up 138% to $106.2 million (H1 2013: $44.7 million)
· EBITDA1 up 229% to $72.0 million (H1 2013: $21.9 million)
· EBITDA margin up 39% to 68% (H1 2013: 49%)
· Net profit up 249% to $53.8 million (H1 2013: $15.4 million)
· Earnings per share increased 213% to $0.47 (H1 2013: $0.15)
· ARPU up 76% to $1,580 (H1 2013: $898)
· Interim dividend per share of $0.235
· Interim dividend pay-out of $27 million
· Representing 50% of H1 2014 net profit
· Operating cash flow up 301% to $62.9 million (H1 2013: $15.7 million)
· Net cash up 252% to $115.2 million (H1 2013: $32.7 million)


Operational Highlights

· Strong financial performance continuing into 2014 following a record performance in 2013
· Continued growth in Active Customers increased 35% to 67,232 (H1 2013:49,752)
· Continued growth in New Customers increased 33% to 32,673 (H1 2013:24,626)
· Online marketing and promotional initiatives underpins customer metrics and drives financial performance
· UK market share increased as a result of improved brand and product awareness
· Mobile and tablet adoption rates now represent 56% of all subscribers
· Developing ‘Windows Mobile’ version to complement mobile browser
· New “Guaranteed Stop” feature popular with customers
· Trading remains in line with market expectations

Gal Haber, Chief Executive Officer of Plus500, commented: “We are delighted to announce another strong set of results. We have now been a listed company for over 12 months and the Company continues to go from strength to strength. The benefits of our London listing, easy to use and robust trading platforms, and our strong marketing efforts have ensured our brand and platform remain one of the fastest growing in the marketplace.”

“Our excellent half year numbers, in which we have delivered a 138% increase in revenue and 249% increase in profits, reflect the benefits of our asset light model which differentiates our business from many of our peers. Current Q3 trading has continued to be strong. We remain confident of meeting market expectations for the full year and are focused on generating continuing strong returns for our shareholders” concluded Mr. Haber.

LeapRate reported yesterday that investors in Plus500 stock were showing positive foresight, as the company’s shares increased by a tremendous 51% in anticipation of today’s interim results.

Shareholders will no doubt be more than pleased that for the six months ended June 30, 2014, Plus500’s interim dividend will be $0.235 per share, with a total dividend pay-out of $27 million. This dividend represents a distribution of 50% of H1 2014 net profit, in line with the Company’s stated dividend policy.

The dividend will be paid on September 19, 2014 to shareholders on the register at close of business on August 22, 2014 with the shares marked ex-dividend on August 20, 2014.

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