Plus500 expands headquarters in Israel and embarks on hiring spree

Plus500 Ltd (LON: PLUS) is reportedly on the brink of a major expansion in its home country of Israel amid ambitious growth plans. The firm is set to secure an additional 5,800 square meters of office space next to its global headquarters in Haifa, Israel.

The expansion comes as Plus500 finalizes a lease for the new space within the Gav-Yam high-tech park in Haifa, effectively doubling its current office footprint. This move aligns with the company’s strategy to increase its workforce across various departments, including development, software engineering, sales, and business development, as reported by Israel’s Walla online news service.

Despite a slowdown in revenue and profits in the latter half of 2023, Plus500 kicked off a fresh $100 million share repurchase program immediately after the completion of the ongoing $60.0 million buyback.

The publicly-traded broker said that the move reflects the opportunities available to drive future ‎growth, as well as its high cash generation. ‎

In 2023, the broker rolled out a generous shareholder return strategy, dishing out around $350 million in total. This hefty sum was split between a share buyback initiative worth $257.5 million—highlighted by a notable $127.5 million share repurchase carried out on June 13—and dividends totaling $90 million.

The resolution, voted on via a poll, passed by the requisite majority. Out of the total votes cast (excluding votes withheld), a majority of 80.66% were in favor of returning more money to the shareholders, while 19.34% voted against it. In terms of issued share capital, the resolution garnered a 57.26% of support.

With the new approval in place, the company’s board has the authority to consider future purchases of ordinary shares prior to the scheduled 2024 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Plus500 kicked off a further share buyback program of $70 million in February 2023, which follows a previous $60 million share buyback program announced in 2022. The move was part of its previously announced plan that will put $100 million back into shareholders’ pockets after the online trading platform revealed bumper profits for 2022.