We’ve been waiting for while now, IMC has finally reported a profit of 26 million over the year 2009. It was worth the wait, as it is pretty okay compared with their peers at Optiver (2 m) and All Options (-42 m). Informal sources confirm 2010 has been even way better than 2009, posting a record year for IMC. We will have to wait another year for confirmation. Previous year (’08) the company earned 28 million.

The first to come up with the story on IMC’s profits was Quote Magazine. After all, board members Wiet Pot and Rob Defares are prominent members of the Quote 500 rich list. Both of them are doing fine, Rob getting 8 million dividend and former Goldman partner Wiet is pocketing 4.6m.

Most interesting stuff is available on page 25 of their annual report. It appears their net trading result dropped with 11% from 236 to 212 million. The transaction costs as percentage of the gross trading result fell from 27% to 20%. Still a little difficult to separate the transaction costs per activity, as there used to be a broker over there at the time (IWB) and there’s still a Rotterdam based consultancy division (Cardano). But it would be safe to say prop trading is by far the most important activity and we can ignore smaller parts.

Hire and fire

IMC has fired a few dozen traders, but hired some others too. Cheaper ones, probably. Fresh university graduates aren’t that expensive, although some trading experience within the firm could be valuable at times. Anyway, the employee headcount rose from 574 to 657.  Checking the facts in more detail reveals some more juicy facts ; their department in Amsterdam got rid of 14 employees (from 336 to 322), and abroad nearly a hundred new traders have ben hired. IT and support staff have been axed, and new hires are traders.

Even with the new recruits, the total personnel costs for bonuses and salaries dropped with 24 million. Average pay per employee dropped from 216.000 to 151.000. New rookie traders could weigh on the average, but odds are management have been replacing expensive traders by cheaper ones. Finally, their stake in IEX has been sold.

For download : Annual report 2009 (pdf)