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Plus500 hikes dividend as FY'17 profit rises 70% YOY

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Plus500 hikes dividend as FY'17 profit rises 70% YOY

Online trading platform provider Plus500 Ltd. increased its total dividend for full year 2017 to $1.6867 per share from 88.52 cents per share for 2016.

The total dividend comprises an interim dividend of 23.88 cents per share, a final dividend of 81.29 cents per share and a special dividend of 63.5 cents per share.

The London-listed firm reported a preliminary unaudited net profit of $199.7 million for 2017, up from $117.2 million a year prior.

The company also said its board believes that recent proposals by the European Securities and Markets Authority and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority about potential curbs on contracts for difference, or CFD, will not have an adverse effect on Plus500's business, subject to the application of proposed measures.

"We continue to have a highly flexible business model, a lean cost structure and geographically diversified revenues and operations that help mitigate the impact of regulatory changes on our financial performance," group CEO Asaf Elimelech said. "Overall, we anticipate that the industry will consolidate around a smaller number of larger participants, of which we believe Plus500 will be among the leaders."

The company also aims to secure licenses in additional locations after South Africa and Singapore permitted it to operate in the countries.

Plus500 also noted that cryptocurrency CFD trading represented less than 15% of its revenues but helped draw more customers to the platform.

A regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies may not be "the most pleasant thing," but the group can continue to offer cryptocurrency-based CFD trading options to customers in jurisdictions such as Australia, Elimelech said, according to The Telegraph.