IG Group had strong half year before Swiss franc share shock

Sarah Spickernell
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Thursday's share price fall was due to "good will losses" (Source: Getty)

The figures

IG Group performed well during the six months to 30 November, following a “very subdued first quarter”.
Pre-tax profits were up 2.8 per cent at £101.4m, while net revenue rose by eight per cent to £197.4m.

Why it's interesting

Last week, the financial spread betting firm suffered badly at the hands of the Swiss franc shock – when the Swiss National Bank (SNB) revealed its plan to remove the currency cap, shares dropped by a large degree and wiped £30m off the company's value.
Share price fell as much as 6.7 per cent to £6.94 in late-afternoon trade. The company said clients' "positions were closed at a more beneficial level than the company was able to close its entire corresponding hedge due to the market dislocation."
Analysts at Numis said the loss was down to bad debt losses from clients but also "good will losses" where IG voluntarily closed customer positions "where liquidity for closure was not there and IG eventually closed at a worse price."
The latest results show how the share price plummet did not reflect a general downward trend for the company – it had been performing well up to that point.
Share price had been increasing steadily up to Thursday last week, indicating the company could start to recover quickly. There are alrady signs that shares are starting to pick up again.

What IG Group said

Chief executive Tim Howkins emphasised the importance of the company's international expansion plans:
IG delivered another very strong set of results, with record revenue in the half year after a subdued first quarter. We also made good progress with our ongoing investment in strategic initiatives designed to drive future growth, including the launch of stockbroking in the UK and the opening of a new office in Switzerland.
I believe that the initiatives we are embarked upon provide clear evidence that, after 40 years, our ambition to drive forward and develop the business is as strong as it has ever been.

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