This trading firm made £20 million from the craziness in markets right now

IG Group, the online brokerage and trading platform, dropped its half year results on Tuesday morning, and it has had a bumper start to the year, thanks to the ongoing craziness in the global markets right now.

These are the highlights of the company’s latest results:

  • Trading revenues up by 8.8% from £197.4 million in 2014 to £214.8million in 2015.
  • Pre-tax profits down 2.8% to £98.6 million, thanks to big investments in infrastructure.
  • Revenues particularly strong in the Rest of the World, growing 32.8%, with European revenues up by 12.6%.
  • Share dividend flat at 8.45 pence ($0.12).

The markets are absolutely crazy right now, we all know that. Oil is going mad, stocks across the world are up and down like a yo-yo, and currencies are hugely volatile. This volatility has helped give IG a great start to the year. Here’s the kicker:

The period was characterised by bursts of volatility in the financial markets, presenting more trading opportunities for our clients.

Craziness in the markets means that people are more likely to trade, looking for profits, and IG has taken advantage of this.

While good market conditions allowed IG to grow revenues rapidly in the first six months of its trading year, it wasn’t all good news. Profits fell almost 3% thanks to what IG called “an increase in headcount and marketing costs to support the ongoing investment in our strategic initiatives to deliver future growth and diversification.”

Essentially, the company is spending lots of money on marketing, and setting itself for big growth in the next few years, something echoed by new CEO Peter Hetherington

Tuesday’s results are the first released Hetherington at the helm. Hetherington joined IG as a university graduate in 1994, and in just 22 years has risen to be the company’s chief executive. He suggested on Tuesday morning that he is hoping to grow the business rapidly in the coming years. Here’s what he said (emphasis ours):

During my time here, IG has grown from a small phone-based UK trading company with around 25 employees, to a global leader in online trading with over 1,400 employees in 20 countries. But, as much as I am proud of the past, I am more excited about the future. Building on our strong operational and risk management capabilities, we are driving continuous improvement and value from the current business. At the same time, we are laying foundations for broadening the IG offering, to take advantage of supportive macro trends in financial behaviour, by leveraging the market-leading platform we have built.

While revenues have jumped by near double digit numbers in the first half of IG’s trading year, investors don’t appear particularly happy with the company, and shares are down around 0.5% in the first hour of trading on Tuesday morning. As of 9:20 a.m. GMT (4:20 a.m. ET) IG’s stock is trading at £7.40 ($10.58). Here’s how that looks:

Business Insider has reached out to IG Group for further comment regarding “market volatility”, and will update this story if and when we hear back.

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