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UPDATE 1-Online trading firm CMC posts record income on COVID-19 volatility

(Adds details from statement, share move)

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Online trading platform CMC Markets posted a record half-yearly net operating income on Thursday due to the coronavirus-led volatility in financial markets, but said it is “too early” to know the full extent of shifts in client demand.

Shares of the company, which have nearly doubled in value so far this year, were up 3.3% by 0813 GMT.

CMC and its rivals IG and Plus500 have seen their profits skyrocket this year due to record client activity amid the pandemic, a hotly contested U.S. presidential election and the uncertainty over a Brexit trade deal.

However, with developments around a vaccine and markets pricing in a hit from the global health crisis, the CBOE Volatility Index has retreated from levels seen earlier in the year.

The company, which facilitates the trade of complex financial instruments, said its net operating income jumped 126% to 230.9 million pounds ($305.60 million) for the six months ended Sept. 30 from 102.3 million pounds a year earlier.

“Looking ahead, while it is still too early to know the full extent of the changes in client trading demand, we have had the ability to demonstrate the strength of our offering and are confident in retaining the high-quality clients we target,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Cruddas said.

The number of active clients at CMC jumped 42% to 59,082 during the period.

CMC expects net operating income for the year above 370 million pounds, higher than its previous estimate range of 321 million pounds to 348.7 million pounds.

$1 = 0.7556 pounds Reporting by Jasmine I S and Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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