Liffe boosts NYSE Euronext strong profits

NYSE Euronext reported a 25 per cent rise in first quarter profits yesterday, largely thanks to futures trading on its London-centred Liffe market.

Futures trading volume on Liffe shot up 28 per cent compared to the first quarter last year, helping group profits rise from $104m (£68m) to $130m.

The results matched Wall Street expectations and were seen as evidence that the exchange operator is following through on plans to diversify its business in the face of thinner margins and fierce competition in its traditional stock trading part of the business.

“Our solid first quarter results were driven by strong growth from our derivatives businesses,” said Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE Euronext.

Liffe will open at 1am on Friday morning in order to allow traders access to the markets as general election results flow in. Traders, who want the option to sell government bonds in the event of a hung parliament, have supported the move.

European derivatives revenues jumped 50 per cent in the quarter with particularly strong growth in the daily volumes of fixed-income products traded.