Nasdaq reports record losses

Nasdaq reports record losses

The Nasdaq Stock Market has reported a net loss of $49 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2003 reflecting the high costs of exiting unprofitable businesses and a spiralling decline in revenues.

Exceptional charges this quarter relating to the winding-up of non-performing businesses and severance amounted to nearly $60 million before tax. Additional charges of between $12 and $15 million will be realised later in the year.

Nasdaq's strategic review saw the exchange pull out of Nasdaq Europe and Euronext.Liffe single stock futures venture NQLX and shut down other non-core business lines with the loss of 129 staff. Severance costs alone totalled to $20.7 million.

Revenue also continued to plunge, dropping 26.2% to $151.4 million in the second quarter 2003 from $205.1 million in the second quarter 2002 and 8.7% from $165.9 million when compared with the first quarter 2003. Transaction Services revenue declined 41.6% to $60.4 million, compared to Q2 2002, and Market Information Services revenue fell by 27.7% to $36.5 million.

Robert Greifeld, the SunGard executive brought in to stem the decline in Nasdaq's business, says the company's mission is to become the dominant US equity market.

"We will not commit resources or pursue initiatives that do not meet this mission," he says, in a comment that offers no comfort for Nasdaq's last remaining international venture, Nasdaq Deutschland.

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