Sales drop at Icap as trade hits $878bn

ICAP, the brokerage founded by former Tory party treasurer Michael Spencer, posted a four per cent drop in first-quarter sales yesterday.

The London-listed firm said the slip was in line with its expectations, blaming the large number of public holidays and a tough comparator due to an “abnormally high” level of activity around the “flash crash” of May last year.

The firm said that trading on its electronic platforms was up ten per cent to $878bn (£545.8bn) for the quarter.

It said it expects to record a pre-tax profit of between £366m and £402m for the year ending March 2012.

In fixed income products, the firm’s brokerTec platform saw total average daily volumes of $712bn, an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year.

“We will continue to concentrate on growing our business organically, work to reduce our costs,” said chief executive Michael Spencer.

“I am pleased with the progress Icap has made over the past year. We have maintained our focus and continued to invest in our products, technology and people to meet the evolving needs of our clients and financial market regulators.”