SINGAPORE (Apr 23): Internet-based investment products distribution platform iFAST Corporation saw its earnings surge 126.8% to $3.6 million for the 1QFY2020 ended March, from $1.6 million a year ago.

On a fully diluted basis, earnings per share (EPS) soared to 1.32 cents for 1QFY2020, from EPS of 0.59 cents in 1QFY2019.

Revenue jumped 41.5% to a record high $38.5 million during the quarter, from $27.2 million a year ago.

This was attributable to a 9.1% y-o-y growth in asset under administration (AUA), as well as an improved range and depth of products and services.

The y-o-y growth in AUA comes despite a 4.6% q-o-q drop on the back of the virus-driven market sell-off in 1QFY2020.

However, this was partially offset by record quarterly net inflows of $590 million in client assets on the group’s platforms.

Revenue from its business-to-customer (B2C) segment rose 40.4% to $6.8 million, due mainly to significant increases in transaction fees resulting from increased investment subscription from customers in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks.

The group also saw higher service fees arising from the provision of currency conversion administration services, as a result of higher clients’ trading volume of ETFs and stocks listed on foreign exchanges.

Meanwhile, revenue from its business-to-business (B2B) division grew 41.8% to $31.7 million on the back of “significant increases” in transaction and service fees.

As at end March, cash and cash equivalents stood at $21.7 million.

The group’s net asset value (NAV) per share climbed to 35.00 cents as at March 31, 2020, compared to 33.51 cents as at end-December 2019.

The group has declared an interim dividend of 0.75 cents per share for the period, the same as a year ago.

Looking ahead, the group says its financial performance for the rest of the year will partly depend on how the Covid-19 situation develops, including the impact on the global financial markets.

Barring a substantial worsening of the global financial markets from the current levels, the group expects to show higher profits and revenues in FY2020, compared to last year.

“In the medium to long term, the Covid-19 crisis is expected to lead to an acceleration of the pace of digitalisation of financial services, and the pace of adoption of Fintech services by consumers,” iFAST says in its outlook statement.

“As a leading Fintech wealth management in Asia, the group expects that it will be less adversely impacted than the general economy, and may see positive outcomes, due to our online-based business model,” it adds.

Shares in iFAST closed half a cent lower, or down 0.6%, at 86 cents on Wednesday. Year-to-date, the counter is trading some 17.3% lower.