Plus500 reports solid revenues, EBITDA in Q1 2022
The performance was driven by the consistent strength and increasing scale of Plus500’s technology to enable customers’ trading activities across a wide range of geographic markets, products and financial instruments.
Revenue in Q1 2022 was $270.9m (Q4 2021: $161.1m, Q1 2021: $203.2m).
Customer Income, a key measure of the Group’s underlying performance, was again robust at $188.0m in the quarter (Q4 2021: $166.7m, Q1 2021: $221.5m).
Customer Trading Performance during Q1 2022 stood at $82.9m, (Q4 2021: ($5.6m), Q1 2021: ($18.3m)). The Company continues to expect that the contribution from Customer Trading Performance will be broadly neutral over time.
EBITDA in Q1 2022 was $161.6m (Q4 2021: $70.9m, Q1 2021: $121.7m) with EBITDA margin of 60% (Q4 2021: 44%, Q1 2021: 60%). This EBITDA performance was supported by the Company’s lean, flexible cost base and efficient business model.
The numbers of New Customers and Active Customers on the Group’s trading platforms remained strong during Q1 2022, but were below the particularly elevated levels of Q1 2021.
The Group on-boarded 33,740 New Customers in Q1 2022 (Q4 2021: 33,187, Q1 2021: 89,406), driven by continued investments in its marketing technology.
Active Customers during Q1 2022 were ahead of the sequential quarter at 176,642 (Q4 2021: 171,922, Q1 2021: 269,743) driven by the Company’s investments in innovation and product development, which helped to deliver a range of initiatives aimed at deepening engagement with the Group’s customers. As a result of these initiatives, ARPU was resilient at $1,534 in Q1 2022 (Q4 2021: $937, Q1 2021: $753).
AUAC in Q1 2022 improved from the sequential quarter at $1,416 (Q4 2021: $1,502, Q1 2021: $473), driven by on-going investments in strategic markets to attract high value customers. The Group continues to expect that AUAC will rise steadily over time, as the Group invests in attracting customers to the new trading products in its portfolio and targeting customers in strategic geographies.
Client deposits remained heightened at $0.6bn in Q1 2022 (Q4 2021: $0.5bn, Q1 2021: $0.7bn), reflecting customers’ on-going confidence in Plus500’s technology and growing product portfolio.
The Company repurchased 771,409 shares in the quarter, at an average price of £14.32, for a total cash consideration of $14.8m, as part of its most recent share buyback programme, announced at the Group’s FY 2021 preliminary results on 15 February 2022, to purchase up to $55.0m of the Company’s shares.
In terms of strategic achievements, Plus500 notes that, in February 2022, it announced that the Group’s portfolio of operating licences was further strengthened with the addition of a new licence in Estonia, granted by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority. This new licence, supported by the establishment of a new local operating subsidiary, will act as an additional foundation to the Group’s business across European markets in its core product offering.
In March 2022, the Company announced the completion of the acquisition of EZ Invest Securities, Co., Ltd., a regulated entity licenced as a Type 1 Financial Instruments Business Operator, offering CFDs and OTC Foreign Exchange in Japan. This acquisition expands the Company’s geographic footprint into the substantial Japanese retail trading market, where Plus500 will apply its financial and technological strength to scale and develop the acquired business over time.
The integration of the acquisitions made in the US futures market last year is on track, with good progress made in leveraging Plus500’s best-in-class technology to optimise the acquired businesses. This will help to deliver market access to the millions of potential customers looking for new trading opportunities and solutions in the futures and options on futures market.
During Q1 2022, the Group became a full Clearing Firm Member of the CME Group, having successfully obtained all the clearing membership privileges required to clear exchange-traded futures and options on futures on the CME Group’s exchanges. This offers an additional potential revenue opportunity for Plus500.
The Group’s proprietary share dealing platform, ‘Plus500 Invest’, was rolled out in additional countries, with new equities and ETFs added to the product offering during the period, and is now available as a native application on the Android and iOS operating systems.
During the period, the Company continued to invest in technology innovation and product development, to help further drive engagement with customers, including the on-going recruitment at the Company’s R&D centres in Israel.
At the current time, the Board anticipates that revenue for FY 2022 will be ahead of current market expectations and continues to expect that Plus500 will deliver sustainable growth from all of the Group’s product offerings over the medium to long term.
David Zruia, Chief Executive Officer of Plus500, commented:
“Plus500 has produced excellent results for Q1 2022, continuing our significant operational and financial momentum over recent years, and validating our clear strategic roadmap. Our on-going investments in developing our position as a global multi-asset fintech group will enable future growth. In particular, we continue to make organic investments in technology, marketing and our people, as well as actively targeting additional acquisitions and initiating potential strategic partnerships.”