Tullett Prebon share price rises as its profits spike on oil price volatility

Jessica Morris
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Tullett's energy sector revenue swelled 102 per cent (Source: Getty)

Tullett Prebon's shares rose 0.6 per cent to 350.6p this afternoon, after oil proved to be black gold for the broker.

The figures:

Tullett Prebon's revenue increased 13 per cent to £796.0m in the year ended December 31st, from £703.5m in 2014.

Energy sector revenue swelled 102 per cent to 204.3m during this period, helping to offset falls in treasury products and interest rate derivatives.

Meanwhile, operating profit added seven per cent to £107.9m during this period, from £100.7m.

This came as pre-tax profits soared 215.5 per cent to £105.7m in 2015, from £33.5m a year earlier.

Why it's interesting:

Tumbling crude prices have wrought havoc on the balance sheets of oil companies, from the majors right down to penny stocks. However, Tullett Prebon actually benefited from the bloodbath, with the violent price swings boosting its results.

Low interest rates from central banks worldwide have kept financial markets relatively calm over the last few years. But this has been bad news for brokers such as Tullett which thrive amid heightened activity from traders.

"Activity in many of the traditional interdealer broker products remained subdued throughout 2015," Tullett Prebon said today.

"In contrast, activity in the energy and commodities markets, particularly in oil and oil related financial products, was buoyant reflecting the significant changes and volatility in oil prices throughout the year."

While Tullett enacted cost cutting measures to combat weak trading in its traditional interdealer broker products, the company continued to expand its footprint in the energy sector with a number of acquisitions.

Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, has tumbled from a high of over $100 per barrel in June last year to around $35 today. It's yo-yoed since the beginning of this year, sinking towards $27 at one point.

What Tullett said:

"We achieved a good overall financial performance in 2015 against the backdrop of a challenging trading environment and subdued client demand," John Phizackerley, chief executive of Tullett Prebon, said.

"We will continue to look for opportunities to deliver our objectives to build revenue and raise the quality and quantity of earnings through further diversification of the client base, continued expansion into energy and commodities, and building scale in the Americas and Asia Pacific, whilst preserving the business's core franchises."

In short:

While Tullett's traditional interdealer broker products suffered due to relatively calm financial markets, this was offset by the violent price swings in oil prices.

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