Shares in foreign exchange specialist Alpha FX (AFX:AIM) were in demand today, up 9% to 750p, after the group reported revenues 16% higher at £18 million for the first-half to 30 June.

Also helping sentiment was news that it had received a payment on an outstanding £10.2 million balance of a Norwegian client on schedule, as per the settlement deal agreed.

The agreement requires the client to make weekly payments of £266,543 until June 2022, having posted £1.05 million in April 2020.

The company also said that non-cash year-end provisions will be ‘significantly lower’ than the £2 million booked at the first-half. Provisions are reversed as cash payments are received and are expected to be 25% lower by December 2020.

While no financial details were provided the group said it remained profitable and debt free with £37 million of unencumbered cash at hand and net assets in excess of £80 million.  The company raised £20 million of new money from shareholders on 7 April.

CONTINUED GROWTH

The challenging conditions haven’t dimmed the group’s longer-term growth ambitions and they continued to invest in back office headcount, technology and geographic expansion while front-office hiring was frozen given the challenge of hiring sales people remotely.

Alpha Payment Solutions achieved record revenues during the first two-quarters of the year while Alpha Institutional saw impressive year-over-year growth of 21%. The Canadian business was said to be progressing well alongside the recently launched office in Holland.

Average revenue per client continued its upward trajectory and the group added 28 new clients to total 671. The strong balance sheet and increasing reputation of the group is attracting increasingly larger clients.

The newer divisions are reported to have grown ‘strongly’ mitigating the broadly flat UK corporate marketplace.

Management remain cautiously optimistic for the year ahead with chief executive Morgan Tillbrook commenting, ‘the fundamental drivers of our business not only remain unchanged but continue to strengthen as we further invest in our operations and technology, and I remain confident in the Group's ability to maintain its long-term profitable growth.’

The company had a near-perfect trading record until the hiccup in April, which raised some questions about the group’s ability to manage risks as it grew, but the fast resolution and increase shareholder support through the placing seems to have put the company on a firmer footing.

Tillbrook took the positives out of the situation saying, ‘whilst we never wished for a scenario like this, I do believe we will look back at 2020 as a year of positive change - a year that made our business even stronger.’

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Issue Date: 15 Jul 2020