- Online contracts-for-difference broker Plus500 said its first-quarter earnings had almost halved after markets became less volatile, though it forecast a 'moderate' annual earnings and revenue beat.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the three months through March dropped 47% year-on-year to $121.7m, the company said in a trading update.

Revenue slumped 36% to $203.2 million and the company's earnings margin contracted 13 percentage points to 60%.

On a positive note, EBTIDA rose sharply compared to the $19.9 million posted for the fourth quarter of 2020, while revenue more than doubled on that same comparative.

Plus500's active customer numbers had risen 39% to 269,743, on a year-on-year basis.

'The board remains confident about the outlook for Plus500 and expects 2021 financial year revenue and EBITDA to be moderately ahead of current compiled analysts' consensus forecasts,' the company said.

Chief executive David Zruia said Plus500 delivered an 'excellent' performance in the first quarter, building on positive momentum achieved in 2020.

'This performance has been driven by the strength and agility of our technology and its ability to respond rapidly to market developments, news events and customer requirements,' he said.

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