LONDON (ShareCast) - The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has long been a target of takeover speculation but after revealing a sharp jump in profits, it now looks more hunter than hunted.
The group does four things: provide markets through which companies can raise funds and investors can invest; it offers Post Trade Services, which make sure investors actually can pay for the assets they have agreed to buy; Information Services puts together different indices (or lists) of assets - like the FTSE 100; while Technology Services provides the computer systems that enable trading to take place.
In other words, there is a lot more to it than just a load of hyped-up people staring at trading screens.
Total income across the whole business in the 12 months to the end of March was £814.8m, up 21% on the previous year, or 16% excluding acquisitions and currency effects.
Adjusted operating profit was £441.9m, a 30% gain on 2010/2011 - 25% excluding acquisitions and currency effects.
Profit before tax rose 169% to £639.7m following the purchase of the outstanding 50% stake in the FTSE indexing business from the publisher of the Financial Times, Pearson.
The final dividend has been increased by 6% to 19p per share, giving a total for the year of 28.3p - also a 6% gain on 2010/2011.
LSE’s Chief Executive, Xavier Rolet said the group had made “great progress this year”.
The market thought so too, by 10:35 the stock had risen 6%.
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