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CFD and Forex broker Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) has just published its financial report for the final quarter and full year 2015, with the last quarter bringing a rise in revenues on an annual basis and a drop in revenues in quarterly terms.
The company also announced that Asaf Elimelech, who currently serves as the Chief Subsidiaries Officer at Plus500 Ltd, will be promoted to joint Chief Executive Officer on February 28, 2016 and will work alongside Gal Haber for the period to the end of April 2016, when Mr. Haber will become Managing Director and Mr. Elimelech will be promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
Q4 2015 Highlights:
- Revenues for the three months to December 31, 2015 amounted to $67.7 million, up 2% from the result of $66.5 million reported for the corresponding period a year earlier.
- The number of new customers was 15,594, down 18% year on year.
- The number of active customers was 49,006, down 3% year on year.
- Average revenue per active user (ARPU) was $1,382, up 5% year on year.
- Average new user acquisition cost (AUAC) was $1,591, up 42% year on year.
FY 2015 Highlights:
- Revenues for the full year 2015 amounted to $275.6 million, up 20.4% from 2014 result of $228.9 million.
- Net profit was $96.6 million, down 5.8% from $102.5 million a year earlier.
- Earnings per share were $0.84, down 5.6% from the reading of $0.89 posted for 2014.
- ARPU was $2,019, down 6.5% from $2,160 in 2014.
- The number of active Customers increased 29% to 136,540.
- The number of new Customers increased 28% to 84,858.
- Plus500’s total assets were $169 million, up 16% from $146.3 million in FY 2014.
The company explained the rise in 2015 revenues via the increasing brand awareness, despite the temporary reduction in UK revenues.
The reduction in EBITDA margin to 48.2% (FY 2014: 63.6%) was blamed on the issues experienced by Plus500UK during the year; this has resulted in a reduction in high margin UK revenues, additional costs of onboarding new customers in Cyprus, additional costs relating to an increase in UK staff to undertake remediation and to enhance management, and one off legal and regulatory compliance costs in the amount of about $4.5 million, relating to appointing regulatory advisers and the Skilled Person reports.
After the planned deal with Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC) was called off in November last year, Plus500 has entered 2016 as an independent company. The company said the start to the year was good as market volatility attracted both strong revenues and New Customers with an improved EBITDA margin. The Board expects that this momentum is maintained and looks forward to achieving strong growth for the year as a whole in excess of market expectations.
In 2015, the Company saw an increase in the number of higher value Active Customers who open multiple positions; this increase is forecast to continue in 2016. The Company will continue to expand its customer base primarily through online marketing as well as invest through offline channels such as the main sponsorship of Atlético Madrid Football Club.
In 2016, the Company plans to expand its mobile offering, and hopes to achieve similar success.
It will continue to increase the number of instruments available to trade.
The broker will continue to add new licenses across further geographies to the benefit of its customers as well as the company.
Plus500’s regulatory, compliance and onboarding processes have been significantly enhanced and have passed stringent reviews. The Board is committed to ensuring these high standards are maintained.
As a result of the initiatives above, the Board believes that the Company’s momentum will continue, resulting in sustained strong revenue growth in 2016 with improved margins.
Gal Haber, Chief Executive of Plus500, commented:
“We are pleased to announce a strong set of 2015 KPIs which reflect Plus500’s high profile brand and its robust business model. Significant cash flows have enabled the declaration of substantial dividends despite the significant disruption to our business in May 2015, which required a remediation of our UK customer base and for the remainder of the year suspension of Plus500UK onboarding new customers.
Plus500 had a record number of both New Customers and Active Customers in 2015. Whilst marketing expenses are recognised and paid for when incurred, these New Customers are expected to contribute to significant revenue growth and a higher EBITDA margin in 2016.
We enter 2016 with more high value customers, an enhanced trading platform, more robust processes, a stronger brand and more routes to market, supported by a strong balance sheet. We are therefore confident that Plus500 will continue growing and we believe we will have another successful year with higher EBITDA margin than achieved in 2015. We have started the new financial year strongly and anticipate an active first quarter given strong customer additions and current market volatility.”
You can view the full regulatory filing by clicking here.