Preliminary results of London Stock Exchange Group Plc for the year ended 31 March 2009

Preliminary results of London Stock Exchange Group Plc for the year ended 31 March 2009

Financial Headlines:

  • Revenue up 23 per cent to £671.4 million; a one per cent increase on a pro forma basis (six per cent down at constant currency) assuming the merger with Borsa Italiana had taken place on 1 April 2007;
  • Adjusted operating profit (before goodwill impairment, amortisation of purchased intangibles and exceptional items) up 17 per cent to £338.6 million; down one per cent pro forma (down seven per cent at constant currency);
  • Adjusted basic earnings per share up two per cent to 74.2 pence;
  • Total dividend for the year up two per cent to 24.4 pence per share and an additional £51.5 million returned to shareholders through share buybacks in H1;
  • Including non-cash goodwill impairment (of £484.0 million), amortisation of purchased intangibles and exceptional items, loss before tax was £250.8 million (2008: profit before tax £227.0 million) and basic loss per share was 126.1 pence (2008: basic EPS 70.8 pence);
  • Strong net cash flow from operations after exceptional items of £352.6 million – up from £292.9 million last year; and free cash flow of £100.2 million (2008: £102.1 million);
  • £905 million committed borrowing facilities, of which £700 million extends through to 2012 or beyond compared to £625 million drawn debt; interest cover at 10.1 times (2008: 9.8 times) remains strong.

Operational Highlights:

  • The Group underlined its vital role for companies with a record £106 billion raised by companies on our markets, including £99 billion in secondary issues;
  • There was a total 160 new issues, and the Group remained the leading international listing venue with 21 international IPOs; AIM Italia was successfully launched and since year-end has hosted its first two IPOs;
  • Merger integration programme with close to full run rate is well ahead of plan, with 60 per cent increase in cost synergies to £32 million to be achieved in the March 2010 financial year; Italian cash equities market successfully migrated to TradElect;
  • SETS volumes continued to grow, increasing 15 per cent to 740,000 trades per day. SETS average daily value traded declined 24 per cent, in line with an average 22 per cent fall in the FTSE 100; trading at Borsa Italiana was 12 per cent lower at 256,000 trades per day;
  • Resilient overall performance in the Derivatives and Fixed Income businesses in challenging market conditions;
  • Demand for the Group’s real time data remained generally robust despite the market downturn, with 104,000 professional users of LSE information at year-end, down 8,000 over last year; and in Italy professional terminals stood at 151,000, down 9,000;
  • Strong performance from post trade services as CC&G performs its crucial function as central counterparty throughout the financial crisis.

Commenting on the results, Chris Gibson-Smith, Chairman of London Stock Exchange Group, said:

“While the Group’s markets have been affected by the crisis in global financial markets, we have produced good underlying results, underpinned by robust cash flows, as the benefits of a more diversified business emerge following our successful merger with Borsa Italiana.

“The goodwill impairment arising from the all share merger is a technical accounting adjustment reflecting the major deterioration in current economic conditions. It belies the high quality of, and potential arising from the combination. Indeed, the assessed value of Borsa Italiana remains comfortably above the £1.3 billion value at the time of completion of the merger given the strengthening of the euro.

“Although market conditions are expected to remain testing, the Board believes the Group is well placed for the future. We remain at the heart of global equity capital markets at a time when such markets are fundamental to the recovery of the real economy.”

Clara Furse, Chief Executive, said:

“We have performed well, with revenue up 23 per cent, reflecting the overall resilience and diversification of our business, and full year effect of our merger with Borsa Italiana. Each of our divisions responded well in increasingly difficult markets, with Information Services and our CC&G clearing operations delivering particularly strong growth, and the Exchange playing an essential role in economic recovery during a year of record equity fund raising on its markets.

“We have also made very good progress in achieving synergies from the merger and will now deliver a further increase in cost synergies to £32 million, up by 60 per cent from the original plan.”