Plus500 raises profit expectations despite pandemic trading boom continuing to fizzle out
- Third quarter revenue and profit below 2020, but still well ahead of 2019
- Active customer numbers fell to 166,310 from nearly 200,000 a year earlier
- But firm expects 2021 revenue and profit to be ahead of analysts’ expectations
Online trading firm Plus500 has raised its 2021 profit outlook despite seeing revenues and customer numbers fall back from the heights of last year as the pandemic boom in amateur trading continues to fizzle out.
The London-listed company, like rivals IG Group and CMC Markets, saw profits skyrocket last year as retail traders tried to take advantage of topsy-turvy markets and commodity prices.
Today, it reported lower revenues and profits in the three months to the end of September compared to the same period in 2020 – but they both still remain well above pre-pandemic levels.
Slowdown: Plus500 has reported lower revenues and profits compared to last year
Third quarter revenues fell 2 per cent to $211million (£153.6million) as active customer numbers came down to 166,310 from nearly 200,000 a year earlier.
However, both figures are much higher than in the third quarter of 2019, before the pandemic, when the company made $110.6million in revenues and had around 111,000 active customers.
Plus500, which lets investors trade on complex financial instruments such as contracts for difference through its website and mobile app, hailed its ‘excellent’ performance so far this year.
It said it expected full-year revenues and underlying profit to come in ahead of analysts’ expectations of $555.8million (£406million) and $277.9million (£202million).
Shares in Plus500 rose more than 2 per cent in early trading but they had lost most of those gains by 11am on Monday, when they were 0.5 per cent higher at £14.
The stock’s price remains below last year’s peak of £16 peak, but has increased by 75 per cent since October 2019, when it was priced at £8.
‘Plus500 delivered another excellent performance in Q3 2021, maintaining the strong operational momentum achieved in previous periods,’ said chief executive David Zruia.
‘This has been primarily driven by the strength and agility of our technology and our ability to effectively respond rapidly to market developments, news events and customer requirements.
‘We aim to access future growth through continued organic investment and targeted bolt-on acquisitions, as we continue to expand our CFD offering, launch new products and deepen engagement with our customers.’
PLus500 shares have risen by 75% since October 2019, when they were trading at around £8