Announcement of Interim Results for the six months ended 30 September 2014

  • Strong financial performance - revenue growth across each of the Group’s business areas
  • Revenue up 18 per cent to £592.6 million (H1 FY 2014: £504.2 million); up 15 per cent on organic and constant currency basis
  • Group continues to benefit from diversification across a wide range of businesses and markets
  • Total income, including net treasury income (excluding unrealised gains/losses at LCH.Clearnet), up 13 per cent at £642.5 million (H1 FY 2014: £567.1million); up 10 per cent on organic and constant currency basis
  • Underlying operating expenses up 6 per cent, and up only 2 per cent on organic and constant currency basis, reflecting continued cost control and good operating leverage
  • Adjusted operating profit1 up 24 per cent at £286.1 million (H1 FY 2014: £229.9 million); up 21 per cent on organic and constant currency basis; operating profit of £172.3 million (H1 FY 2014: £151.0 million)
  • Adjusted basic EPS1 up 22 per cent to 58.7 pence (H1 FY 2014: 48.2 pence); basic EPS of 26.6 pence (H1 FY 2014: 27.7 pence)
  • Interim dividend increased 4.3 per cent to 9.7p pence per share, adjusting for the rights issue in September2 (rebased H1 FY 2014: 9.3 pence per share)
  • On track to complete the acquisition of Frank Russell Company before the end of 2014, with clearance from CMA received
  • The comprehensive review of Russell’s Investment Management business is making good progress and likely to be completed post acquisition completion, in late Q4 2014 or early 2015
  • Following completion of the Russell acquisition, approx. one-third of LSEG revenues will come from North America

Commenting on performance of the Group, Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive said:

“We have produced a strong set of first half results, with revenue up 18 per cent, reflecting increases across each of our business areas.  In particular, our Capital Markets division delivered good growth in both primary and secondary market activities, FTSE revenues grew 10 per cent and LCH.Clearnet also performed well with increases in OTC and listed product clearing revenues.  Operating expenses have remained well controlled and we are seeing benefits of the cost reduction programme at LCH.Clearnet.

“We expect to complete the acquisition of Frank Russell Company within the next few weeks and are making good progress with the comprehensive review.  Following completion, the all important US market will represent around one-third of our revenues.  The Group remains well positioned to develop across a wide range of businesses and markets.”

1 before amortisation of purchased intangibles, non-recurring items and unrealised net investment gains/losses at LCH.Clearnet.

All comparisons are against the same corresponding period in the previous year unless stated otherwise.

2 prior year dividend per share figure rebased to reflect the rights issue in September 2014

Further information is available from:

London Stock Exchange Group plc

Gavin Sullivan – Media

Paul Froud – Investor Relations

+44 (0) 20 7797 1222

+44 (0) 20 7797 3322

Finsbury

Guy Lamming / David Henderson

+44 (0) 20 7251 3801 

 

Additional information on London Stock Exchange Group can be found at www.lseg.com

 

Further information

The Group will host a conference call of its Interim Results for analysts and institutional shareholders today at 8:30am. On the call will be Xavier Rolet (CEO), David Warren (CFO) and Paul Froud (Head of Investor Relations). 

To access the Telephone conference call dial 0800 694 0257 or +44 (0) 1452 555 566

Conference ID # 2795 9213

For further information, please call the Group’s Investor Relations team on +44 (0) 20 7797 3322.

Chairman’s Statement

Overview

The Group has delivered a strong set of Interim results, with growth across each business area. This good performance reflects the success of our strategy to broaden and diversify the scale and scope of our activities.  Today, London Stock Exchange Group is a leading diversified financial markets infrastructure and capital markets provider with an increasing international footprint, developing highly valuable and well positioned businesses. 

We remain focused on developing opportunities to grow, both organically and through selected transactions.  In June, we announced the proposed acquisition of Frank Russell Company, which is a clear strategic fit for the Group and represents a rare opportunity to acquire a high quality US business with a leading global brand.  Russell’s index business is the No.1 provider of benchmarks to US-focused equity funds and also provides customised and highly innovative index solutions for clients.  Like FTSE, the Russell index business has demonstrated good growth and is strongly positioned to capitalise further on key industry trends such as strong growth in passive investment strategies and related products such as ETFs.  The combination with FTSE, and the resulting synergies, will provide a firm platform for attractive financial returns.

A rights issue to partially fund the purchase of Russell was successfully completed in September. We recently received clearance from the UK CMA, and we are on track to complete the acquisition before the end of 2014.  We are also making good progress on the comprehensive review of the investment management business to determine its positioning and fit with the Group, as well as plans for integration of the Index business with FTSE following completion.

We are also committed to developing further operational efficiencies across the Group, particularly at LCH.Clearnet where we are on course to deliver the increased cost savings announced in May 2014.

We highlight the major factors determining Group performance in this six month period in the commentary below.

Operational Performance

Revenue for Capital Markets, which includes primary and secondary market activities, increased 13 per cent to £164.6 million.  In primary markets, revenue rose 21 per cent, reflecting a buoyant period for IPOs, particularly in the first quarter of the financial year.  There was strong growth in both the number of new issues on the Group’s markets, up from 79 to 126, and the total amount of money raised, which increased 83 per cent to £27.5 billion.

In secondary markets, revenue from UK cash equities trading increased 4 per cent, driven by 38 per cent growth in value traded on Turquoise, while in Italy revenue increased 15 per cent at constant currency as the number of trades rose by 17 percent.  Revenue from the Group’s derivatives markets was broadly flat, with growth in Italy offset by declines in the UK.

The fixed income business performed well, recording revenue growth of 27 per cent. Contributing to this growth were a 4 per cent increase in trading volumes on the MTS repo markets and a 39 per cent rise in volumes on MTS cash markets and BondVision (the dealer to client electronic bond platform).

Revenue for Post Trade Services in Italy, comprising CC&G and Monte Titoli, increased 6 per cent at constant currency, and flat at a reported level.  Clearing revenues rose 2 per cent at constant currency, with a 15 per cent increase in clearing volumes, which reflects a reduction in non-cash collateral and consequent decline in associated fee income. Settlement revenue rose 13 per cent (19 per cent at constant currency) as total settlement instructions increased by a similar level, while custody revenues increased 4 per cent at constant currency (down 2 per cent on reported basis) as assets under custody grew 3 per cent to €3.4 trillion.  Treasury income decreased, as expected, reducing 45 per cent to £15.5 million, as a result of the move started a year ago to secured investments for cash margin, with a consequent reduction in yields.  Returns on cash margin investments are likely to reduce further due to the low yield environment in eurozone government bonds and the increasingly short duration of cash margin investments.

The Post Trade Services - LCH.Clearnet segment comprises the Group's majority-owned global clearing business.  Revenue increased 49 per cent (up 30 per cent on an organic and constant currency basis), reflecting growth in both OTC and listed products clearing.  Adjusting for the extra one month contribution compared with the prior year period, OTC revenue rose 26 per cent. Interest rate swap (IRS) notional cleared increased 41 per cent, while the notional outstanding reduced by 5 per cent as a result of further use of compression following the introduction of new services during the period.  Compression is highly beneficial to clients, providing capital savings through the reduction of outstanding positions and open interest.  In the first nine months of 2014, SwapClear has cleared $506 trillion and compressed $225 trillion through proprietary and third party compression services. 

Listed products clearing revenues increased 31 per cent (up 14 per cent on an organic and constant currency basis), with growth in all areas other than derivatives.  Commodities clearing revenues nearly doubled year on year, but from the end of September this service has ceased following the expected end to the LME clearing contract.  Fixed income revenues grew well, reflecting the change in tariff structure from the start of the year.  Net treasury income increased 6 per cent.  However, going forward it is expected to decline given the current low investment yield environment and as the average cash collateral levels reduce following the move of LME clearing.

Information Services revenue increased 8 per cent to £181.0 million (up 9 per cent on a constant currency basis).  Growth principally reflects the good performance of FTSE, with revenue up 10 per cent (12 per cent at constant currency) to £92.7 million.  ETF AUM benchmarked to FTSE grew 23 per cent to $216 billion.

Revenue from real time data declined 4 per cent, mainly reflecting a 3 per cent reduction in the number of professional users of real time UK data in the period. In contrast, revenue from other information services increased 15 per cent, with growth across a number of products including UnaVista.

Technology Services revenue increased 5 per cent to £30.8 million, up 10 per cent on an organic constant currency basis.  MillenniumIT revenue rose 9 per cent at constant currency, though in reported terms were 2 per cent lower year on year. Revenue from other technology services increased 10 per cent, with growth from a number of IT products, including new wireless connectivity.

Financial Summary

Unless otherwise stated, all figures below refer to the six months ended 30 September 2014.  Comparative figures are for the six months ended 30 September 2013 (H1 FY 2014).  Variance is also provided at organic and constant currency.  The basis of preparation is set out at the end of this report.

Six months ended 30 September

Organic and constant
currency

2014

2013

Variance

variance1

 

£m

£m

%

%

Revenue

Capital Markets

164.6 

145.2 

13% 

12% 

Post Trade Services - CC&G and Monte Titoli

48.0 

48.1 

(0%)

6% 

Post Trade Services - LCH.Clearnet 2

165.7 

111.2 

49% 

30% 

Information Services

181.0 

168.3 

8% 

9% 

Technology Services

30.8 

29.4 

5% 

10% 

Other revenue

2.5 

2.0 

25% 

25% 

Total revenue

592.6 

504.2 

18% 

15% 

Net treasury income through CCP business:

CC&G

15.5 

28.1 

(45%)

(42%)

LCH.Clearnet   2

32.3 

30.5 

6% 

(9%)

Other income

2.1 

4.3 

(51%)

(51%)

LCH.Clearnet unrealised gain / (loss)

0.4 

(2.0)

Total income

642.9 

565.1 

14% 

11% 

Adjusted   total income excluding unrealised gain / (loss)

642.5 

567.1 

13% 

10% 

Operating   expenses

(356.4)

(337.2)

6% 

2% 

Adjusted   operating profit3

286.1 

229.9 

24% 

21% 

Amortisation of purchased intangibles and non-recurring items

(114.2)

(76.9)

49% 

47% 

Operating   profit

172.3 

151.0 

14% 

10% 

Basic   earnings per share (p)

26.6 

27.7 

(4%)

Adjusted   basic earnings per share (p)3

58.7 

48.2 

22% 

Dividend   (p)4

9.7 

9.3 

4% 

 

1 Exchange rates for the relevant period are detailed at the end of this section
 Adjustments to calculate organic growth:

1)      Removal of EuroTLX and Bonds.com revenue (Capital Markets – Fixed Income)

2)      LCH.Clearnet pro forma 2013 for six months

3)      MTS Indices remove from Capital Markets Fixed Income revenue and include in Information Services FTSE revenue

2 LCH.Clearnet represents five months ended 30 September 2013

3 Before amortisation of purchased intangibles, non-recurring items and unrealised net investment gains/losses at LCH.Clearnet

4  FY 2014 adjusted for rights issue

The Group has restated its opening prior year balance sheet and prior year results in relation to accounting entries to revise deferred tax liabilities on previous acquisitions.  These changes do not impact adjusted operating profit or adjusted EPS.  Further details are provided in Note 2 to the accounts later in this report.

The Group has delivered good financial results.  Revenue increased 18 per cent to £592.6 million (H1 FY 2014: £504.2 million) and up 15 per cent on an organic and constant currency basis.  Total income (excluding unrealised gains/losses at LCH.Clearnet) rose 13 per cent to £642.5 million (H1 FY 2014: £567.1 million), and up 10 per cent on an organic and constant currency basis.  The revenue performance was driven in part by favourable conditions in capital markets, with consequential benefits in our Post Trade businesses, together with further good progress in Information Services.  This helped offset expected pressure on net treasury income, particularly in Italy, with the move to investment of cash margins to secured investments.

Operating expenses, before amortisation of purchased intangibles and non-recurring items, rose 6 per cent to £356.4 million (H1 FY 2014: £337.2 million), up 2 per cent on an organic and constant currency basis, which reflects both good cost control and strong operating leverage.  The principal drivers of change are inclusion of £20 million additional costs at LCH.Clearnet as a result of the change to revenue share arrangement for OTC clearing, together with higher costs from small acquisitions (EuroTLX and Bonds.com), and an increase in cost of sales associated with growth at FTSE and Turquoise.  Offsetting these expenses were £18 million savings at LCH.Clearnet from the planned cost reduction programme, plus control of other expenditure. 

Adjusted operating profit for the period, before amortisation of purchased intangibles, non-recurring items and unrealised net investment gains / losses, increased 24 per cent to £286.1 million (H1 FY 2014: £229.9 million).

Net finance costs were little changed at £35.5 million (up from £35.0 million in H1 last year).  The underlying effective Group tax rate was 26.3 per cent, lower than the rate for the year ended 31 March 2014 (28.2 per cent).

Adjusted basic EPS, before amortisation of purchased intangibles and non-recurring items, increased 22 per cent to 58.7 pence (H1 FY 2014: 48.2 pence) while basic EPS was 26.6 pence (H1 FY 2014: 27.7 pence).

Net cash inflow from operating activities was £219.2 million (H1 FY 2014: £156.4 million), reflecting improved profitability and good working capital management. Capital expenditure in the period amounted to £40.2 million (H1 FY 2014: £35.3 million).  Looking ahead, we expect  run rate full year capex to be at least the same level as last year, at £90 million, as we continue to invest in new products, operational efficiency and further integration work related to recent acquisitions.  Net cash generated after capex, other investments and dividends, and excluding the temporary use of rights issue cash, was £112.9 million (H1 FY 2014: £64.7 million).  Free cash flow per share (post net interest paid, tax paid and investment activities) was 62.4 pence (H1 FY 2014: 44.3 pence).

In June 2014, the Group signed a new £600 million unsecured, syndicated revolving facility package to ensure it had sufficient committed credit lines to fund the debt component of the Russell acquisition, expected to complete by the end of 2014, and provide comfortable medium term headroom. Committed, undrawn credit lines available for Group purposes at 30 September 2014 totalled £1.3 billion, extending out to 2016 or beyond. 

At 30 September 2014, adjusted net debt was £32.2 million (after setting aside £200 million of cash for regulatory and operational support purposes for the core LSEG businesses, and assuming no surplus cash at LCH.Clearnet) while drawn borrowings of £937.2 million were £286.5 million lower than at the start of the current financial year.  This material reduction in net debt in the period reflects the use of rights issue funds, raised in September as part funding of the planned acquisition of Frank Russell, to temporarily pay down current borrowings and boost cash and cash equivalents.  At 30 September 2014, setting aside the effect of the rights issue, pro forma net debt:EBITDA reduced to 1.6 times (from 1.9 times at 31 March 2014).

The Group had net assets of £2,930.6 million at 30 September 2014 (31 March 2014: £2,003.0 million), including £1,711.6 million in cash and cash equivalents of which £933.6 million reflects the received proceeds of the rights issue in September 2014.   The central counterparty clearing business assets and liabilities within both CC&G and LCH.Clearnet are shown gross on the balance sheet as the amounts receivable and payable, which largely offset each other, are unable to be netted under accounting treatments.

Interim Dividend 

The Directors have declared an interim dividend of 9.7 pence per share, an increase of 4.3 per cent on the interim dividend paid last year, adjusted for the Rights Issue in September.  The interim dividend will be paid on 6 January 2015 to shareholders on the register on 5 December 2014.  The Group will next report results for the nine months ending 31 December 2014, expected to be in early March, and at that time will propose a dividend for the stub period before moving to a dividend payment schedule aligned to future reporting of full financial years ending in December.

Outlook

The Group has performed well in the past six months, delivering a strong set of results. We are a leading diversified financial markets infrastructure and capital markets provider with increasingly diversified and well positioned businesses.  While conditions in capital markets have been more volatile since the half year end, which have contributed to a slowed rate of IPOs compared to H1, there remains a good pipeline of companies looking to join both our AIM and main markets.  We remain focused on completing the acquisition of Russell and planning for its integration with FTSE to capture various growth opportunities and significant synergies. We will also invest to further strengthen our business as well as continuing the cost saving programme at LCH.Clearnet.  Looking ahead, we are well placed to develop further across a wide range of businesses and markets, including in the United States. 

Chris Gibson-Smith

Chairman

13 November 2014

Operating Performance – Key statistics

To assist investors in understanding the underlying performance of the Group, percentage changes are also presented on a constant currency basis.

Capital Markets

Capital Markets comprises the Group’s primary markets activities, providing access to capital for corporates and others, and the secondary market trading of cash equities, derivatives and fixed income. 

 

Six months ended 30 September 

Organic and constant currency

2014

2013

Variance

variance1

Revenue

£m

£m

%

%

Primary   Markets

Annual   fees

22.3

20.3

10%

12%

Admission   fees

23.1

17.1

35%

36%

 

45.4

37.4

21%

23%

Secondary Markets

Cash   equities UK & Turquoise

48.3

46.4

4%

4%

Cash   equities Italy

18.7

17.2

9%

15%

Derivatives

9.5

9.7

(2%)

3%

Fixed   income

38.1

30.0

27%

11%

 

114.6

103.3

11%

8%

Other

4.6

4.5

2%

5%

Total   revenue

164.6

145.2

13%

12%

 

1 Removal of EuroTLX and Bonds.com revenue (Capital Markets – Fixed Income) and

MTS Indices removed from Capital Markets Fixed Income revenue and included in Information Services FTSE revenue

 

Capital Markets - Primary Markets 

Six months ended 30 September

Variance

2014

2013

%

New Issues

UK Main Market, PSM & SFM

47

21

124%

UK AIM

62

52

19%

Borsa Italiana

17

6

183%

Total

126

79

59%

Company Numbers (as at period end)

UK Main Market, PSM & SFM

1,377

1,363

1%

UK AIM

1,099

1,090

1%

Borsa Italiana

303

283

7%

Total

2,779

2,736

2%

Market Capitalisation (as at period end)

UK Main Market (£bn)

2,221

2,192

1%

UK AIM (£bn)

75

69

9%

Borsa Italiana (€bn)

496

399

24%

Borsa Italiana (£bn)

386

333

16%

Total (£bn)

2,682

2,594

3%

Money Raised (£bn)

UK New

9.7

3.7

162%

UK Further

8.6

10.3

(17%)

Borsa Italiana new and further

9.2

1.0

820%

Total (£bn)

27.5

15.0

83%

 

Capital Markets - Secondary Markets 

Six months ended 30 September

Variance

Equity

2014

2013

%

Totals for period

UK value traded (£bn)

529

528

0% 

Borsa Italiana (no of trades m)

31.3

26.8

17% 

Turquoise value traded (€bn)

469.8

340.1

38% 

SETS Yield (basis points)

0.65

0.66

(2%)

Average daily

UK value traded (£bn)

4.1

4.2

(2%)

Borsa Italiana (no of trades '000)

246

209

18% 

Turquoise value traded (€bn)

3.64

2.62

39% 

Derivatives (contracts m)

LSE Derivatives

4.7

8.8

(47%)

IDEM

17.7

15.6

13% 

Total

22.4

24.4

(8%)

Fixed Income

MTS cash and BondVision (€bn)

2,096

1,509

39%

MTS money markets (€bn term adjusted)

37,740

36,438

4%

 

Post Trade Services

The Post Trade Services division principally comprises the Group’s Italian-based clearing, settlement and custody businesses.   

 

Six months ended 30 September

Constant currency

2014

2013

Variance

variance

£m

£m

%

%

Revenue

Clearing

18.4

19.1

(4%)

2% 

Settlement

8.8

7.8

13% 

19% 

Custody   & other

20.8

21.2

(2%)

4% 

Total   revenue

48.0

48.1

(0%)

6% 

Net   treasury income

15.5

28.1

(45%)

(42%)

Total   income

63.5

76.2

(17%)

(12%)

 

Six months ended 30 September

Variance

2014

2013

%

CC&G Clearing (m)

Equity clearing (no of trades)

32.7

28.2

16% 

Derivative clearing (no of contracts)

17.7

15.6

13% 

Total

50.4

43.8

15% 

Open interest (contracts as at period end)

5.1

5.1

0% 

Initial margin held (average €bn)

9.8

12.0

(18%)

Monte Titoli

Settlement instructions (trades m)

32.9

26.9

22% 

Custody assets under management (average €tn)

3.38

3.29

3% 

 

LCH.Clearnet

The LCH.Clearnet division principally comprises the Group’s majority owned global clearing business.   

 

Six months ended 30 September 

Organic and constant currency

2014

20132

Variance

variance1

Revenue

£m

£m

%

%

OTC

SwapClear

54.4

41.2 

32% 

17% 

ForexClear   / CDSClear

14.2

6.7 

112% 

83% 

 

68.6

47.9 

43% 

26% 

Non-OTC

Fixed   income

22.6

13.8 

64% 

45% 

Commodities

26.3

13.5 

95% 

87% 

Listed   derivatives

19.8

23.6 

(16%)

(32%)

Cash   equities

16.7

14.4 

16% 

2% 

 

85.4

65.3 

31% 

14% 

Total   Clearing fee revenue

154.0

113.2 

36% 

19% 

Other

11.7

(2.0)

- 

-

Total   revenue

165.7

111.2 

49% 

30% 

Net   treasury income

32.3

30.5 

6% 

(9%)

Unrealised   gain / (loss)

0.4

(2.0)

- 

- 

Total   income including unrealised

198.4

139.7 

42% 

23% 

Total   income excluding unrealised

198.0

141.7 

40% 

21% 

 

1Represents six months ended 30 September 2013

2LCH.Clearnet 2013 represents five months ended 30 September 2013

  

Six months ended 30 September

Variance

2014

2013

%

OTC derivatives

SwapClear

IRS notional outstanding ($trn)

399

421

(5%)

IRS notional cleared ($trn)

340

241

41% 

SwapClear members

108

100

8% 

CDSClear

Open interest (€bn)

36.0

20.3

77% 

Notional cleared (€bn)

29.5

104.5

(72%)

CDSClear members

9

11

(18%)

ForexClear

Notional value cleared ($bn)

460

439

5% 

ForexClear members

20

15

33% 

Non-OTC

Fixed income - Nominal value (€trn)

37.6

36.9

2% 

Commodities (lots m)

86.6

64.4

34% 

Listed derivatives (contracts m)

83.4

83.2

0% 

Cash equities trades (m)

209.0

178.3

17% 

Average cash collateral (€bn)

48.7

40.2

21% 

 

Information Services

The Information Services division consists of real time data products and a number of other discrete businesses, including Global Indices products, Trade Processing operations, Desktop and Work Flow products. 

 

Six months ended 30 September

Organic and constant currency

2014

2013

Variance

variance1

£m

£m

%

%

Revenue

FTSE

92.7

83.9

10% 

12% 

Real time data

42.6

44.5

(4%)

(3%)

Other information services

45.7

39.9

15% 

16% 

Total revenue

181.0

168.3

8% 

9% 

  

1 MTS Indices removed from Capital Markets Fixed Income revenue and included in Information Services FTSE revenue


 

As at 30 September

Variance

2014

2013

%

Terminals

UK

78,000

80,000

(3%)

Borsa Italiana Professional Terminals

129,000

128,000

1%  

FTSE ETFs assets under management benchmarked ($bn)

216

176

23% 

 

KPIs for Russell Indices and Russell Investments were provided in the Shareholder Circular in August 2014.  Since then, Russell Investments released updated AUM as at 30 September 2014 (provided on their website): US$275.1 billion1 

 

Technology Services

 

Technology Services comprises technology connections and data centre services for clients of London Stock Exchange and Borsa Italiana, plus the MillenniumIT software business, based in Sri Lanka, which provides technology for the Group as well as third party sales and enterprise services.

 

Six months ended 30 September

Organic and constant currency

2014

2013

Variance

variance

£m

£m

%

%

Revenue

MillenniumIT

12.9

13.1

(2%)

9%

Technology

17.9

16.3

10% 

10%

Total   revenue

30.8

29.4

5% 

10%

 

Basis of Preparation

 

Results for the Italian business have been translated into Sterling using the exchange rates set out below.  Constant currency growth rates have been calculated by translating prior period results at the average exchange rate for the current period.

 

 

Closing € : £ rate

Average € : £ rate for   the period ended

30   September 2014

€1.29

€1.24

30   September 2013

€1.20

€1.17

31   March 2014

€1.21

€1.19