April 24, 2018 / 6:28 AM / 3 months ago

London Stock Exchange Group's quarterly income rises

(Reuters) - London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) reported higher quarterly income as its clearing, capital markets and FTSE Russell businesses grew strongly, helping ease lingering investor concern after a difficult 2017 for the company.

People walk past the London Stock Exchange Group offices in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Total income from continuing operations rose 13 percent to 520 million pounds ($724.83 million) in the quarter ended March 31, while total revenue was up 11 percent at 470 million pounds.

“The group has delivered a strong first quarter performance. All of our key businesses continue to perform well, with strong growth in FTSE Russell, LCH and Capital Markets,” Interim Chief Executive David Warren said in a statement.

The group named Goldman Sachs’ veteran David Schwimmer as chief executive officer earlier this month, drawing a line under a management row between its chairman Donald Brydon and activist hedge fund TCI.

TCI backs Schwimmer, Sky News reported late on Monday. TCI did not respond to request for comment.

LSE’s capital markets division, which makes money from fees paid by companies listing on its markets and trading of stocks and bonds, saw revenue rise by 14 percent to 107 million pounds.

Revenue from information services rose 16 percent to 201 million pounds, with double-digit growth at FTSE Russell, LSE said, adding its income from its clearing business, LCH, surged by 18 percent in the first quarter.

Schwimmer, who will take the helm in August, will have to protect LSE’s strong hold in euro clearing as rival Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) in Frankfurt is already seeking to exploit Brexit uncertainty to build up business. LCH dominates euro swaps clearing.

“The LSE would have more than 900 million pounds in balance sheet capacity for M&A or further returns to shareholders,” RBC analysts who rate LSE as “Outperform”, said.

In March last year, European Union regulators blocked the 29 billion euro merger between LSE and Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE), formally ending a deal that unraveled in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Maiya Keidan in London, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Carolyn Cohn

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