Plus500 2019 profit to slump despite strong second half

(Reuters) - Online trading platform Plus500 PLUSP.L said on Monday regulatory challenges will bring its 2019 core profit down by more than 60%, even though performance in the second half improved.

Shares in Plus500, which have slumped 35% in 2019, climbed 3.5% to 883.4 pence by 0802 GMT.

Plus500 and its rivals CMC Markets CMCX.L and IG Group IGG.L have seen a drop in client numbers as regulators in Britain and the European Union tightened rules on the sale of certain high-risk financial products to amateur traders.

However, recent updates from the companies pointed to an improvement in performance owing to higher volatility in financial markets and as traders get used to the new rules.

“We finished the year in good financial and operational shape following a period of change for the industry, which has provided a more certain regulatory outlook for Plus500,” Chief Executive Officer Asaf Elimelech said in a statement.

For the year ended Dec.31, Plus500 expects revenue to more than halve to $354 million from a year earlier and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $190 million, a 62% slump.

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur