* LSE said group profits flat at 217.2 mln stg
* Exchange revenue up 7pct to 349.8 mln stg in first half
By Luke Jeffs
LONDON, Nov 16 The London Stock Exchange said its profit was flat at 217.2 million pounds ($345 million) for the first half of the year as a rise in income from its clearing unit offset a slowdown in trading across the exchange's main European markets.
The British exchange group said on Friday its adjusted operating profit for the six months to the end of September was 217.2 million pounds compared with 214.3 million pounds last year.
The LSE said in an emailed statement a 19-percent fall in capital markets revenue to 129.7 million pounds was partly offset by a 25 percent improvement in net treasury income, to 68.1 million pounds, from its clearing business.
Group revenue rose 7 percent to 349.8 million pounds, boosted by the acquisition of the FTSE index business late last year.
"Good performances, business wins and development of new initiatives have characterised another busy period for the Group," said Xavier Rolet, the chief executive of the LSE Group.
The LSE needs regulatory clearance to complete before the end of this year the acquisition of clearing house LCH.Clearnet, part of a strategic move to boost clearing and derivatives profits.
The LSE's takeover, which has been backed by both sets of shareholders, values LCH at 813 million euros ($1.04 billion)($1 billion).
"We remain focused on realising operational and integration efficiencies, developing growth opportunities and progressing our transaction with LCH.Clearnet," Rolet said.
EU's planned banking reform faces barrage of criticism
BRUSSELS, Dec 6 Plans to overhaul European Union rules on bank capital were strongly criticised by several EU finance ministers on Tuesday, increasing uncertainty over financial regulation.
BRIEF-Italy's banking stock index ends up 8.97 pct
* Italy's banking stock index ends up 8.97 percent Further company coverage: (Reporting by Milan newsroom)