ICAP warns on revenue drop

LONDON Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:34am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - ICAP (IAP.L), the world's largest interdealer broker, said it expects its full-year revenues to fall 13 percent, after a recent pick-up in volumes failed to extend into March.

London-based ICAP said on Wednesday increased levels of volatility, including heavy electronic trading of the Japanese yen, had helped activity in January and February, but trading had tailed off this month.

This comes after "extremely challenging" trading conditions during 2012, the firm said.

ICAP said it expects pre-tax profits for the year to end-March to be around 280 million pounds ($424 million), in line with the lower end of guidance.

Analysts had forecast pre-tax profits of between 280 million and 305 million pounds.

"While we had a better start to the fourth quarter, we are not yet seeing a sustained upturn with market activity remaining fragile and unpredictable," Michael Spencer, Chief Executive Officer at ICAP, said in a statement.

Brokers like ICAP and rival Tullett Prebon (TLPR.L) make money by matching buyers and sellers of bonds, currencies and swaps.

ICAP also said its cost-cutting program remained on track to produce at least 60 million pounds of annualized savings by the year end.

($1 = 0.6599 British pounds)

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes, editing by Sinead Cruise)

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