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LSE Sees "Good Progress," Posts Rise In Operating Profit

By Vladimir Guevarra Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSE.LN) Friday said it expects to make good progress with its business despite an uncertain macroeconomic environment, after posting a 30% rise in operating profit. The exchange operator, which also runs Italy's Borsa Italiana, said operating profit before amortization and one-off items for the year ended March 31 was GBP441.9 million, up from GBP341.1 million a year earlier. The result was higher than the GBP427.5 million average expected by 11 analysts. Total revenue was GBP679.8 million, up 10% from GBP615.9 million previously. LSE said its total dividend for the year increased 6% to 28.3 pence a share. "This has been a very significant year for our business. The successful execution of our strategy has produced tangible operational and financial benefits and we have delivered growth, diversification and performance," Chairman Chris Gibson-Smith said. "Looking ahead, we are excited by the opportunities for the business. In particular our full ownership of FTSE and our shareholder approved transaction with LCH.Clearnet will continue to transform our organization. We are well placed and remain firmly focused in our pursuit of driving long-term shareholder value," Gibson-Smith said. Chief Executive Xavier Rolet said: "Our dynamic, highly competitive landscape presents good opportunities for growth particularly in the areas of risk management and intellectual property. We will continue to innovate across our markets, products and services and we expect to make further good strategic progress." On its outlook, the company said that the current macro economic environment, particularly in Europe, "is evolving rapidly and remains uncertain, but the group's breadth and diversity continues to provide resilience and a strong platform from which to seek opportunities." "The business is alert and responsive to the markets in which it operates and remains focused on integrating its new acquisitions, delivering on stated cost and revenue synergies and driving performance. The group expects to make further good strategic progress in the year ahead," it said. Rolet has been CEO of the LSE for the past three years. In that period, the LSE has been aggressive in trying to woo foreign companies from all over the world to list in London, an effort matched by its strategy to enlarge its business through acquisitions. It has acquired Turquoise, an erstwhile competitor in European share trading, as well as Sri Lankan technology provider MillenniumIT. In the summer of last year, LSE failed in its effort to acquire Canada's TMX, operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange. In December, the LSE bought the remaining 50% stake in FTSE International Ltd. that it didn't already own from Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) for GBP450 million. And in March, it announced a EUR463 million deal to buy a majority stake of up to 60% in the clearing house LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd. LSE shares are up 10% from a year ago. The shares closed Thursday at 965 pence, giving LSE a market capitalization of GBP2.61 billion. - By Vladimir Guevarra, Dow Jones Newswires. Tel. +44 (0) 2078429486, Order free Annual Report for Deutsche Börse AG Visit or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for Pearson Plc Visit or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for London Stock Exchange Group Plc Visit or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for NYSE Euronext Visit or call +44 (0)208 391 6028 Order free Annual Report for Pearson Plc Visit or call +44 (0)208 391 6028

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