After a weak 2012, which saw UK broker, London Capital Group (LCG), post a second half loss, the broker became a takeover target as its shares dove lower to start 2013. Ultimately, after opening its books to three firms, all of the potential suitors dropped out, leaving LCG to fly solo. Today, LCG has issued its first Trading Update following the M&A activity earlier this year.
For the period ending June 30th, LCG announced that it will announce official results on August 22nd. In addition, the broker stated that at that time it expects to report adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations of around £3.2m, representing a 59% increase over the £2.1m result for the same period last year and a loss of £2.3m for the second half of last year. Top line revenues for the period are being reported at £16.2m, below the £17.8m figure in the same period in 2012.
Adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations was confirmed at £3.2m versus £2.7m for the same period last year. The adjusted profit before tax from continuing operations figure is based before recognizing a charge in relation to share based payments of £0.03m, previously announced costs associated with the current change in IT platform of £0.9m, and non-recurring restructuring costs of £0.7m.
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Although revenues declined, profits were boosted by increased activity in LCG’s retail spread betting and CFD business, where revenues reached £13.2m, versus £12.8m in 2012. The growth was offset by a steep drop in institutional FX and broking business, where revenues fell to £3.1m from £4.8m. In the past, LCG reported that its institutional FX business has suffered as a result of tighter margins due to increased competition.
LCG also announced that its Australian subsidiary was wound down and disposed of during the first half of the year. In addition, the firm anticipates the sale of ProSpreads, the Gibraltar based subsidiary, will be completed in the next 4-6 weeks. The profit from discontinued operations for the period was £0.1m. LCG added that the firm is “well capitalized”, with end of June net cash resources of £24.4m.
Commenting on the results, Mark Slade, Chief Executive, said “We have enjoyed strong trading conditions in the first half of the year and our financial performance has benefited from improved market conditions. We have also made good progress reshaping the business and while we are moving in the right direction there is still much work to be done for the company to achieve its full potential.”
Shares of London Capital Group (LCG.L) are currently trading 6.67% higher on the news to 36.00p, up 2.25p, having traded for most of the last two months around 35.00.