- Online brokerage CMC Markets upgraded its outlook and hiked its interim dividend after profit surged as client trading activity remained strong.

'Following the strong performance in H1 2021, a strong start to H2 2021 ... the board is confident that net operating income for the year will be in excess of £370 million...' the company said. Operating costs were likely to be similar to H1 2020, it added.

For the six months ended 30 September, pre-tax profit rose 369% to £141.1 million year-on-year as net operating income jumped 126% to £230.9m.

Contract for difference, or CFD, gross client income was up 68%, with revenue per active client up 66% to £3,392.

CFD active clients increased 42% to 17,479.

The interim dividend was raised to 9.20 pence from 2.85 pence with a total dividend for the year expected to be in line with policy at 50% of net profit, the company said.

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