StockMarketWire.com - Contracts-for-difference trader Plus500 posted a 62% drop in annual profit, blaming calm market conditions, though it said increased market volatility had driven an improved performance in the second half.

The company cut its annual dividend to $0.3767 per share, down from $0.6191 on-year.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December amounted to $189.3m, down from $503.0m, as extremely low volatility presented less trading opportunities for clients.

Trading income more than halved to $354.5m, down from $720.4m, though in the second half revenues rose 40% versus the first half.

Plus500 also noted that 2019 marked the first full year of trading under a new, tighter European regulatory, with 'customer trading patterns adjusting through the year'.

The company said positive momentum in the 2019 second half had continued into 2020, reflecting heightened levels of volatility in financial markets.

'We finished 2019 in good financial and operational shape following a period of changes for the industry, which has provided a more certain regulatory outlook for Plus500 and the industry as a whole,' chief executive Asaf Elimelech said.

'We continue to monitor and prepare for any potential product intervention measures that are expected to take place in Australia during 2020.'

'Looking forward to 2020 we are confident of the prospects for the group as we focus on further strengthening our customer offering and market positions, thereby delivering growth and further strong shareholder returns.'






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