Deutsche Boerse's third quarter operating profit rises, sells BATS shares

The plaque of the Deutsche Boerse AG is pictured at the entrance of the Frankfurt stock exchange February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/File

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse’s third-quarter adjusted operating profit rose by 8 percent to 286 million euros ($311.40 million) as its commodities and international clearing business made up for a weaker market environment.

The German exchange operator, which is planning a $27 billion merger with the London Stock Exchange, said quarterly revenue rose 1 percent to 558.5 million euros.

That was slightly ahead of average analysts’ expectations of 556 million.

“During the third quarter, we were able to compensate for the weaker market environment through growth areas such as commodities and Clearstream’s international business and to increase net revenue overall,” Deutsche Boerse Chief Financial Officer Gregor Pottmeyer said in a statement.

The company said it was still aiming for net revenue growth of 5 to 10 percent this year and annual operating and net profit growth of 10 to 15 percent.

It also said it had sold about a third of its stake in BATS Global Markets Inc. for around $86 million.

“With this, the company expects a positive impact on earnings after tax of around 23 million euros in the fourth quarter 2016,” it said in the statement.

Deutsche Boerse agreed to the sale of the BATS stake on Oct. 26 and was part of the company’s growth strategy plan “Accelerate”.

Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Susan Thomas