The spread-betting industry leader IG Group has reported its first slump in revenues and profits since 2002, a sign of the wider strife in the sector.
With rivals struggling to break even, IG is still in the black, but half-year profits fell 21 per cent to £81m. Tim Howkins, the chief executive, blames "low market volatility" and "fragile consumer sentiment", while noting that IG remains hugely cash-generative.
Trading revenues were down 14 per cent at £169m, though IG's share of the UK market is still growing at 44 per cent. IG held the interim dividend at 5.75p. The shares, which peaked at about 550p in early 2011, today fell 5.3p to 462.4p, valuing the company at £1.7bn.
Mr Howkins' ambition is to get IG into the FTSE 100 index.
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