Marketspreads business grew circa 27% in last accounting period despite temporary trading suspension

Author Paul Holmes Financial spread betting firm, Marketspreads, has recorded profits of €900,000 in its latest financial period, which included

Author Paul Holmes

Financial spread betting firm, Marketspreads, has recorded profits of €900,000 in its latest financial period, which included the time during which the Irish Central Bank suspended its operations in April due to irregularities. The Central Bank suspended Marketspreads for three weeks in April 2012 due to concerns over their audit compliance and their capital adequacy issues. The problems allegedly dated as far back to 2009, before the current owners and management took over the business from Worldspreads, which ceased trading under a cloud back in March 2012.

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Through 2011 the current board of directors discovered irregularities, including former directors Brian O’Neill and Fergus Rice, who led the buyout from Worldspreads, had ‘diverted’ €1.4 million from another business in which they were involved, Sportspreads. Both men have since left the company.

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Marketspreads will file accounts for the 16 months ending April 30th revealing that revenues reached €6.7 million, compared with €3.95 million during 2010. Operating profits reached €917,000, up from €214,000 in 2010. On a pro-rata basis, its business grew 27 per cent during the period ended April 30th, which will mark the end of its financial year.

The company recently appointed Enrique Curran as chief executive. Mr Curran, a former Merrion Capital analyst reported that trading levels have recovered 100 per cent since the company’s suspension, and the majority of its customers, including its largest clients, stayed loyal and have returned. Mr Curran said the business recovered from the suspension and returned to normal trade quickly. He added that the company now plans to consolidate its position over the coming months, before looking for growth opportunities.

The current board had to restate profits for the 12 months ended March 31st, 2009, to €1.5 million from €4 million and reduce net assets and retained earnings by €6.7 million to €1.1 million.

The company subsequently provided 2010 accounts, which were given a clean bill of health by the auditors, and Ray Curran converted a €2.4 million loan to the company to preference shares, to fulfil the Central Bank’s capital adequacy requirements. The bank’s regulators then gave Marketspreads permission to restart trading in the last week of April.

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