ICAP plc (IAP.L), the world's largest interdealer broker announces the following trading update ahead of the closed period following its financial half year ended 30 September 2006. ICAP's interim results will be announced on 21 November 2006.
ICAP has enjoyed an encouraging start to the financial year. The first three months were particularly active compared with the same period last year, benefiting from the market turbulence, notably during May. Overall activity levels during the seasonally slower summer months were better than the previous year and volumes in September have maintained this trend.
The volatile conditions specifically benefited emerging markets and foreign exchange. Equity derivatives were also especially active. With interest rate rises and flat yield curves, interest rate swaps in most markets have been busier than they have been for some time but fixed income volumes on the other hand have been more subdued. The credit markets saw spreads briefly widen in May before the markets calmed again but credit default swap volumes remained strong throughout the period.
The Group has made a very good start on the integration of the ICAP and EBS businesses and the total technology and other related savings are now expected to reach $45 million per annum by the financial year ending in March 2009 compared with the pre acquisition estimates of $32 million. The exceptional costs of achieving these savings are not expected to change from the previous estimate of $24 million during the same period. The EBS business is performing well.
Profit (before tax, amortisation and impairment of intangibles arising on consolidation and exceptional items) for the financial year ended 31 March 2007 is anticipated to be in line with analysts' current forecasts once adjustment is made for movements in the US dollar/Sterling exchange rate.