* EBIT rises 72 percent in first quarter
* Helped by gain from Direct Edge merger and higher revenue
* Deutsche Boerse in upper half of 2014 target range
(Adds quote, comment on target, background)
FRANKFURT, April 28 Deutsche Boerse
posted a strong rise in quarterly operating profit that was
boosted by gains from the previously announced merger of the
BATS exchange with peer Direct Edge, in which Deutsche Boerse
held a stake.
The German exchange operator said earnings before interest
and tax (EBIT) were 330 million euros ($457 million) in the
first quarter, compared with an average expectation of 261
million euros in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages.
Deutsche Boerse recorded a one-off gain of 63 million euros
in the quarter from a revaluation of shares and from a special
dividend linked to the Direct Edge-BATS merger in January.
In recent weeks, the Frankfurt-based operator of the Xetra
equities platform and the Eurex derivatives exchange has
unveiled cooperations with the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the
Bank of China as part of its long-term strategy to
boost its business in Asia.
"The focus for 2014 remains on infrastructure developments
and tapping new growth areas, in particular the expansion of our
presence in Asia," Deutsche Boerse Chief Financial Officer
Gregor Pottmeyer said in a statement.
Quarterly net revenue rose by 6 percent, helped by a slight
improvement in the business environment and the consolidation of
the European Energy Exchange AG from the start of 2014.
"This helped us to increase net revenue to 514 million
euros, the highest level since the third quarter of 2011,"
Earlier in the year, Deutsche Boerse unveiled growth
scenarios for this year that showed net revenue of between 1.9
billion euros and 2.1 billion euros, adjusted operating profit
of between 850 million and 1.05 billion euros, and adjusted net
profit of 600-750 million euros.
"On the basis of net revenue, EBIT and consolidated net
income generated in the first quarter of 2014, Deutsche Boerse
Group is currently in the upper half of the respective forecast
ranges," the company said.
($1 = 0.7223 Euros)
(Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Erica Billingham)