CMC Markets expects to meet guidance despite first half loss

CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) said on Thursday that it still expects to meet its financial guidance for the year, despite swinging to a pre-tax loss in the first half as poor market conditions weighed on trading revenues.

The online trading platform reported a pre-tax loss of £2.0 million for the six months to September 30, compared to a profit of £36.6 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 20% to £122.6 million.

CMC blamed lower client activity and “uncertain” markets driven by high inflation and rising interest rates. Net trading revenue dropped 32% to £87.4 million.

The company’s shares were unchanged in afternoon trade but remain down 60% year-to-date.

Higher operating costs, including a £5.3 million write-down on technology investments, also damaged CMC’s first half performance.

However, chief executive Peter Crudas said CMC still expects to deliver full-year net operating income of between £250 million and £280 million.

Analysts forecast annual revenue of £265.3 million for 2024 and £302.6 million for 2025.

CMC declared an interim dividend of 1.00p, 71% lower than last year.

The company said it remains confident in its long-term growth strategy despite the tough trading conditions. CMC is aiming to diversify its business into new markets to reduce reliance on financial spread betting.