Icap optimistic despite bleak interim show outlook

Michael Bow
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MICHAEL Spencer, the boss of inter­dealer broker Icap, yesterday said he was “guardedly optimistic” about the future despite anticipating a 15 per cent drop in half-year revenues.

Icap said sales for the six months ending September were expected to drop by 10 per cent on a constant currency basis – or 15 per cent on a reported basis – compared with a year ago. It will report the final figures on 19 November.

The group has been hit by lower market volatility levels and increased regulation scuppering the flow of business from its banking clients in recent times.

Icap said it would take a one off charge of up to £45m related to a restructuring programme designed to cope with the troubles, a move it hopes would save £60m annually.

Spencer said: “Market conditions remain challenging, but we are increasing the efficiency of the group while continuing to innovate.

“There was some good improvement to client activity in September… while I do not expect a linear recovery, this provides a basis to be guardedly optimistic about future market activity.”

The group also announced its finance director Iain Torrens was jumping ship to join TalkTalk. Torrens will remain on board until a replacement his found.

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