Plus500 reveals further share buybacks after record 2020

Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

Online trading company Plus500 has unveiled plans to buy back up to another 25 million US dollars (£18 million) in shares after delivering a record performance in 2020.

The group reported pre-tax profits soaring to 523.3 million US dollars (£377 million) from 189.3 million US dollars (£136 million) in 2019.

It saw trading revenues more than double to 872.5 million US dollars (£628 million) from 354.5 million US dollars (£255 million) the previous year, as it also collected a record number of active customers – those who made at least one trade during the year.

It hailed “unprecedented” levels of trading on its platform amid volatile markets due to the pandemic.

The group said it saw more than 82 million customer trades last year, up from around 35 million in 2019, with activity still buoyed so far in 2021.

Plus500 said trading on its platform may ease back if stock market volatility starts to return to more normal levels.

The group’s new buyback programme follows hot on the heels of a previous one, which was announced last August, while it also revealed a special dividend payout to investors totalling 29.4 million US dollars (£21.2 million).

It came as the company pledged to return at least 50% of net profits to shareholders going forward, but said it would also have an increased focus on investing for the future.

At least half of the investor returns will be made through divi payouts, it added.

The group is looking to widen out from focusing on contracts for difference (CFDs) to become a “multi-asset fintech group”.

David Zruia, chief executive of Plus500, said: “2020 was an exceptional year for Plus500, in unprecedented market conditions, where we delivered a record performance due to the strength and agility of our technology and its ability to respond rapidly to market developments and news events.

“We will continue to invest in our business, with approximately 50 million US dollars (£36 million) to be incrementally invested in research and development (R&D) over the next three years, designated to develop new products and services, drive innovation and scale our technology, including the establishment of a new R&D centre in Israel.”

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