Online trading firm IG Group (IGG) reported flat interim revenues of £249.9m for the period ended 30 November, against tough comparatives which included two months trading before stricter European rules came into effect. Operating profits fell 11% to £100m.
The shares were unchanged at 685.6p.
Chief executive Julie Felix said, ‘early indications are very encouraging with continued growth in the client base in our Core Markets, and convincing progress in the areas identified as Significant Opportunities.’
Since the new strategy was announced in the autumn, the company reports across two segments, core markets and significant opportunities.
The intervention of stricter regulation across European markets led to a 6% fall in revenue in core markets despite an increase in client numbers.
Adjusting for the two months of trading under the new regime, revenue was up 3% and active clients grew 4% with revenue per client down 1%.
SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITIES OFF TO A STRONG START
The medium term goal is to add a further £100m in revenues to around £160m by fiscal year 2022 primarily from exploiting opportunities in different geographies. The first half got off to a flying start recording revenue growth of 43% to £40.4m.
The stand-out region was Japan which saw 82% growth, although Emerging Markets (+40%) the US (+14%) and Institutional (+18%) also recorded heathy growth. The company reported that plans in Greater China are progressing well.
The full-year dividend is being held at 43.2p while the company delivers on its strategy and the interim payment is calculated as 30% of the full year pay-out which means a 12.96 per share payment.
Separately long-time finance chief Paul Mainwaring announced his intention to retire after serving the company for 20 years. The process to find a successor is underway.