Online trading company Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) today provided a trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2021.
FY 2021 revenue was approximately $718 million, with the result for Q4 2021 being approximately $160 million. Let’s note that the revenues for the third quarter of 2021 amounted to $211.4 million. Hence, the final quarter of 2021 was weaker than the third.
Revenues were supported by Customer Income of approximately $702 million (Q4 2021: approximately $166m). This performance was driven by a consistently high level of customer trading activity throughout the year. Customer Trading Performance for FY 2021 was approximately $16 million, with the broker continuing to expect that the contribution from Customer Trading Performance will be broadly neutral over time.
This revenue performance, in conjunction with the Group’s lean and flexible cost base, ensured a strong level of EBITDA and basic earnings per share for the year, which were ahead of market expectations.
EBITDA is expected to be approximately $387 million for the year (Q4 2021: $71m) and basic earnings per share for FY 2021 is expected to be approximately $3.10.
The Group’s base of Active Customers during FY 2021 remained well ahead of pre-pandemic levels, at approximately 406,000 (Q4 2021: approximately 171,000), with the number of New Customers on-boarded reaching approximately 196,150 (Q4 2021: approximately 33,000). This development of the Group’s customer base was driven by continued significant investment in its marketing technology.
The strategic progress made in FY 2021 was primarily driven by on-going investment in Plus500’s market-leading proprietary CFD technology platform and its US acquisitions of Cunningham Commodities LLC and Cunningham Trading Systems LLC, which established the Group’s position in the futures and options on futures markets in the US.
In addition, Plus500 successfully launched an organically-developed share dealing platform, ‘Plus500 Invest’, which will be rolled out on more platforms and in additional target markets in the upcoming months.
Plus500 continued to invest in technology innovation and product development, highlighted by the Company’s on-going recruitment of engineers, programmers, web designers and product managers during the year at the Company’s R&D centres in Haifa and Tel-Aviv, Israel. The company will continue to significantly invest and scale its R&D capabilities to support existing and future technology innovation and product development, in line with its strategic roadmap.
The Board continues to expect that Plus500 will deliver sustainable growth over the medium to long term.
The company also provided an update on its share buyback program. Since the announcement of a new share buyback program of $12.6 million on 29 October 2021, the company has repurchased 617,679 of its shares for a total consideration of $10.8 million (as at market close on Friday 7 January 2022). Following the completion of this share buyback program and the conclusion of the current closed period, a new program will be considered by the Board.
Since its initial share buyback programme commenced in 2017, Plus500 has acquired approximately 14.9 million shares at a cost of more than $211 million.
David Zruia, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“We are pleased to have delivered another strong year of financial performance, as well as making significant progress with our strategic and operational plans to strengthen our position as a leading global multi-asset fintech group. With the Group having further strengthened its positioning during 2021, the Board remains confident about the future for Plus500 and continues to expect that the Group will deliver sustainable growth over the medium to long term.”