GMO Sees Drastic Uptick in FX and Crypto Revenues in First Quarter of 2018

The firm's embrace of cryptocurrency appears to have paid off

GMO Internet Group (GMO IG), the owner of FX broker GMO Click securities, released its financial report for the first quarter of 2018 today. The firm saw impressive year-on-year growth in sales and operating profit that was in part driven by the firm’s FX and cryptocurrency business lines.

The end of the first quarter of 2017 saw the firm finish with ¥36 billion ($330 million) in net sales. This year that figure increased to ¥43.71 billion ($400 million) – a 21 percent increase.

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This growth was in part due to the firm’s wholehearted embrace of cryptocurrency. Over the past two years, the firm has developed a crypto-mining business and even offered employees the chance to receive a portion of their salaries in bitcoin last December.

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Given the company has only recently forayed into the cryptocurrency space, the first quarter of last year saw the firm with no earnings attributable to its crypto services. This year that figure increased to ¥635 million ($6 million).

Foreign exchange on the rise

Sales in the firm’s internet finance business also grew drastically. GMO Click makes up the bulk of this part of GMO’s business as cryptocurrency services are accounted for separately.

In the first quarter of 2017, GMO IG’s internet sales were equal to ¥5.58 billion ($51 million). At the end of this year’s first quarter, that figure had ballooned to ¥8.15 billion ($74 million), representing a 46 percent year-on-year increase.

Growth in sales meant growth in operating profit. Perhaps reflecting some operational improvements within the firm, these grew to ¥5.27 billion ($48 million) – a 49 percent increase on the first quarter of 2017.

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