IG Group bemoans summer's trading snoozefest

Emma Haslett
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A suited City worker sleeps on the grass in the sun
Markets were dull in the summer, IG Group said (Source: Getty)

You'd have thought the past few months would have been pretty interesting (if not downright hairy) for spread betters like IG Group - but this morning the company said quiet market conditions had hit business.

The figures

The online trading group said revenues in its first quarter hit £111.4m, up 5.1 per cent from last year.

It put in a particularly strong showing in Europe, where revenues rose 13 per cent to £23.4m, while in Australia they were up nine per cent to £16.2m and in the rest of the world, they rose 18 per cent to £16.4m.

In the UK and Ireland, though, it was a different story - revenues dropped 1.8 per cent to £55.4m. In fact, despite a 24 per cent increase in active clients in the region, revenue per client fell 21 per cent.

That mean although active clients across its markets increased 18 per cent, revenue per client fell 11 per cent.

Still: shares in the company were down 2.75 per cent at 900.5p in early trading.

Read more: IG Group gets more competitive with commission free trades

Why it's interesting

With unprecedented levels of volatility throughout the year (IG should know - it did pretty well out of it in the run-up to the referendum), there's no denying equities markets have been pretty interesting this year.

But it said following the EU referendum, markets had been something of a snoozefest (in contrast to last year....).

"[In the UK] the impact of the management actions in the period surrounding the EU referendum and the subsequent dull markets was felt most," it said.

However, it also pointed out it had increased marketing spend during the period, meaning the level of new client first trades was up 70 per cent on last year - but also that revenue per client was down.

" A high number of new clients beginning part way through the period, combined with the quieter end to the quarter and the ongoing growth of the stockbroking business, resulted in the lower average revenue per client in the UK," it pointed out.

What IG Group said

IG performed relatively well in what was a challenging quarter.

As announced on 24 June, IG increased client margin requirements approaching and during the volatile period surrounding the UK’s EU referendum in order to preserve long term relationships and value; this had the effect of constraining client trading during this time. Financial markets through July and August became increasingly subdued and presented limited trading opportunities for both current and new clients.

In short

A quiet summer period was exacerbated by the EU referendum.