Tullett Prebon first-half revenue falls but beats expectations to lift shares

TULLETT Prebon revenue and profit slipped in the first six months of the year, with the inter-dealer broker saying it expects more market volatility for the remainder of 2011.

Revenue dropped to £454.8m, from £475.8m for the same period last year. Meanwhile operating profit slid to £80.2m from £84.7m last year.

Revenues in Asia, where more brokers were hired, rose 18 per cent while European revenues declined six per cent and North American revenues fell nine per cent, partly because of US office closures.

The firm maintained an interim dividend of 5.25p per share.

Chief executive Terry Smith said the results were strong, considering the “challenging market and competitive conditions”.

He added: “The world’s financial markets remain unsettled and, although it is difficult to predict market conditions accurately, it seems reasonable to expect that there will be periods of market volatility and heightened activity in the remaining months of the year.”

Although underlying operating profits were still nine per cent lower than last year, down from £87.3m to £79.4m at £79.4m, it beat expectations and shares rose 3.6 per cent yesterday to 354.8p.

The market also cheered the group’s success in rebuilding part of its US operation after a mass broker defection to US rival BGC. Subsequent legal action against BGC has been settled in the UK without details being disclosed, while litigation in the US is expected to be resolved next year.