The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has seen its total profits recover in response to pandemic uncertainty which rocked its financial markets in the first half of 2020.
Total profit hit £2.7bn in the six months to 30 June, up from just £914m in the first half of last year when the stock market faced a wave of volatility in the early months of Covid-19.
LSEG posted a sturdier adjusted operating profit of £1.1bn – soaring past the some £457m it roped in in the same period last year.
After opening higher this morning, shares were up 5.4 per cent at a total share price of 7,872.00 in its afternoon trading.
The LSEG earned 146p per share, up from 89.2p per share last year as investors and businesses alike climatise to their new pandemic-era operating environments.
IPO and analytics frenzy
The recent frenzy of high valuing initial public offerings (IPOs) has granted the group an uplift.
Senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, Susannah Streeter, said: ‘’This year’s IPO boom has helped boost the fortunes of the London Stock Exchange group with new issues of shares pushing up equity revenues by 2.5 per cent.
“London may still pale in comparison to New York in the scale of new listings, but it’s making sure but steady progress in attracting bigger names.”
The group, which bought financial market data provider Refinitiv in July for $27bn in shares, is set to continue its investments in data and analytics according to its CEO.
“We continue to invest in projects that enhance our customer offering and deliver a more scalable and efficient business, particularly in Data & Analytics,” LSEG boss David Schwimmer said.
“This will support our revenue growth ambitions and lead to further operating margin improvement.”
LSEG’s data and analytics operations dominate the group’s income, as it accounted for £1.9bn in its first half – up from just £409m in 2020.
Meanwhile, the group’s capital markets pulled in £542m, over three times more than the £147m it recorded amid global market uncertainty.
Streeter explained: “The exchange, seeped in 300 years of history, is positioning itself for a digital-first future as an integrated data, trading and analytics platform,” adding that it is a crucial move as digitalisation sweeps through financial markets.
Group senior independent director Stephen O’Connor was also confirmed to be stepping down from the group’s board, effective immediately.
Chairman of development complex firm Landsec, Cressida Hogg, will be taking the reigns from departing O’Connor.
O’Connor, who joined the board in June 2013, is set to remain a director of the London Stock Exchange.