March 22, 2018 / 7:19 AM / in 7 months

Online broker IG Group's third quarter revenue rises as client base grows

(Reuters) - IG Group Holdings Plc (IGG.L), a British online financial trading company, reported a 30 percent rise in third-quarter revenue, as a growing client base continued to help offset the impact of quieter markets and tighter regulation.

IG, which provides online stockbroking and trading services to retail investors, said net trading revenue rose to 152.9 million pounds in the quarter ended Feb. 28, from 117.4 million pounds a year earlier.

IG, which was founded in 1974 as the world’s first spread-betting firm, said active client numbers rose 16.5 percent from a year earlier, with revenue per client rising 12 percent in the quarter.

Revenue in the UK rose 35.4 percent to 69.2 million pounds, the company said.

IG, which also operates in Australia, Dubai and South Africa, said client trading in cryptocurrencies accounted for 11 percent of revenue in the third quarter, but added that trading in the market has slowed since the end of January.

Despite facing uncertainty from proposed regulation on these products, IG Group and rivals Plus500 (PLUSP.L) and CMC Markets (CMCX.L) have all reported healthy revenue growth as they signed up record numbers of customers last year, partly due to the bitcoin boom.

Strong results at these firms have also allayed some concerns about a sectorwide regulatory clampdown and lower levels of volatility.

Global regulators are cracking down on the fast-growing 3.5 billion pound ($4.9 billion) spread-betting industry in which most retail investors lose money.

IG Group said it was difficult to predict the level of revenue in the last quarter of the year.

IG said it continues to believe that any financial impact from the implementation of measures by European Securities and Markets Authority restricting distribution or sale to retail clients of contracts for differences is unlikely to be significant in 2018.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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