Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS) has unveiled plans to buy back up to US$25mln in shares following what it said was a record year for the business.

The FTSE 250 stock trading platform said the buyback will run from Wednesday until August 11 or the date of its interim results, whichever comes first. The buyback follows another recent share repurchase programme which concluded last August.

READ: Plus500 hails record performance for 2020, co-founder steps down

In a separate announcement reporting its results for the year to 31 December 2020, Plus500 reported earnings (EBITDA) of US$515.9mln, a 168% increase year-on-year, while revenues surged 146% to US$972.5mln. Customer Income, a key growth metric for the company, also jumped 161% to US$997.5mln during the year.

The company’s final dividend was also hiked to US$0.54 per share from US$0.37 the year before.

The company attributed the record results to “unprecedented levels of platform usage” in its business, with over 82mln customer trades taking place over the year compared to 35mln in 2019. Client deposits also jumped to US$2.9bn from US$1bn a year ago.

Plus500 also highlighted record levels of new customers, active customers, reduced client churn and an “attractive” average revenue per user (ARPU), which rose 13% in the year to US$2,009.

In terms of the numbers, the group reported 294,728 new customers during the year, a 223% increase from 2019, while active customers climbed 117% to 434,296.

Looking ahead, the company said platform usage had remained elevated in its 2021 financial year to date, with “further outperformance” in customer income and its key operating metrics, although it said usage may moderate if market conditions normalised.

For 2021, Plus500 said it expects revenues to grow from “more normalised levels” like those delivered in 2019, driven by what it said was “further underlying strength of customer income”.

The firm also said it is continuing to assess the potential impact of incoming regulations in Australia, although it said it believes any impact is already incorporated into current forecasts.

In a note on Wednesday, analysts at house broker Liberum upped their target for Plus500 to 1,990p from 1,950p and retained their ‘buy’ rating, saying the results were “due to more than just favourable market conditions” and reflected “the benefits of the group’s best-in-class platform, which continued to deliver despite lower leverage limits”.

“Its scalable technology and agile marketing algorithms has enabled Plus500 to win significant market share, deliver improved levels of client retention and drive continued improvement in financial returns”, the broker said.

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