Australia's ASX first-half profit up 10.8 pct

SYDNEY Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:16pm EST

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SYDNEY Feb 13 (Reuters) - Australian Securities Exchange Ltd reported a 10.8 percent rise in first-half profit on Thursday, slightly ahead of market forecasts, buoyed by a jump in share floats over the past six months.

Net profit for the six months ending December rose to A$189.6 million ($171.3 million) from A$171.1 million a year earlier. That compared with a market consensus of A$187 million.

ASX said it expects its expenses to rise by about 5 percent for the full year to June 2014.

Australia's dominant securities exchange operator benefited from a strong recovery in the IPO market in 2013, which raised about $6 billion or six times more than the previous year and the highest since 2010. Most of the listings came in November and December.

ASX shares closed at A$35.69 on Thursday, down nearly 2 percent over the past year, against a 7 percent rise in the broader market. ($1 = 1.1070 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang and Sonali Paul; Editing by David Gregorio)

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