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Deutsche Börse posts Q3 results; warns on possible ISE-related writedown

28 October 2010  |  2111 views  |  0 Source: Deutsche Börse

Deutsche Börse Group presented its results for the third quarter 2010 on Wednesday.

Sales revenue increased by 1 percent year-on-year to €504.3 million. At €287.0 million, total costs were down 5 percent on the prior-year level despite expenses in connection with efficiency programs of €12.9 million. After adjustment for these expenses, costs were down 10 percent on 2009 figures. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were €244.1 million, up slightly on the previous year. Adjusted for the expenses in connection with efficiency programs, EBIT was up 7 percent on the same quarter of the previous year, to €257.4 million.

Gregor Pottmeyer, Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Börse AG: "The slight rise in sales revenue in the third quarter, coupled with a tight cost management, led to an increase in earnings year-on-year. We are reducing our cost guidance for full-year 2010 to around €1,150 million before costs for efficiency programs."

Operating efficiency program
Implementation of the measures designed to optimize operating processes and cost structures that were announced in the first quarter 2010 and that should lead to annual savings of around €150 million from 2013 onwards is progressing faster than expected. Since some of the measures originally planned for 2011 have already been implemented in the course of the current financial year, the Company is forecasting total savings of around €25 million in 2010. Therefore, the cost savings for 2011 are expected to amount to around €60 million. With this, the Company will achieve total savings of around €85 million in 2011 against 2009 as originally anticipated.

More precise figures as to the cost of these efficiency programs have become available as the project progresses: they will amount to less than €200 million. In the first nine months of 2010, expenses of €122.7 million were charged in connection with efficiency programs in the consolidated income statement, primarily under staff costs in all Group segments. Most of the remaining expenses will be incurred in 2011 and 2012.

Cost guidance for 2010
Due to the positive cost trend in the first nine months of 2010, the Company is expecting total costs for full-year 2010 of around €1,150 million before costs for efficiency programs. This will bring the Company in at around €60 million lower than its original cost guidance of €1,210 million.

Development of International Securities Exchange (ISE)
Due to still pending regulatory approval for certain functions and the subdued trend on the US options market, the probability that an impairment loss will be recognized on the other intangible assets acquired as part of the acquisition of ISE has increased in the third quarter 2010. In case the sustainable business prospects for ISE do not improve, Deutsche Börse expects to recognize an impairment loss on the other intangible assets in the fourth quarter 2010.

Q3/2010 results
Deutsche Börse Group recorded a slight year-on-year rise in sales revenue in the third quarter 2010. At €504.3 million in Q3/2010, sales revenue was up 1 percent as against Q3/2009 (Q3/2009: €500.9 million).

In addition to sales revenue, the Group's net interest income from banking business amounted to €15.8 million, down 28 percent on the prior-year quarter (Q3/2009: €21.9 million). The year-on-year decline is due to low short-term interest rates, expired interest rate hedging transactions and longer-term investments reaching maturity. Other operating income amounted to €11.7 million in the third quarter 2010 (Q3/2009: €18.7 million) and includes an extraordinary gain of €10.7 million from the sale of the interest in Avox Ltd.

At €287.0 million, total costs were lower than in the third quarter 2009 (Q3/2009: €301.5 million). After adjustment of costs for efficiency programs of €12.9 million, resulting from the measures announced in the first quarter 2010 to increase operational efficiency, costs amounted to €274.1 million, well below the figure for the prior-year quarter and on a level with the previous quarter (Q2/2010: €274.0 million excluding costs for efficiency programs). Since the first quarter 2010, the Company has distinguished between volume-related and operating costs. In the period under review, volume-related costs amounted to €51.6 million (Q3/2009: €58.6 million), while operating costs of €235.4 million were incurred (Q3/2009: €242.9 million). Excluding costs for efficiency programs, operating costs amounted to €222.5 million. The year-on-year decline in volume-related costs is mainly attributable to the consolidation of STOXX Ltd. and the deconsolidation of Scoach Holding S.A. The reduction of fee and commission expenses from banking business as part of the ongoing efficiency measures also led to lower volume-related costs. In the case of operating costs, the decline in the amortization of intangible assets in connection with the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and the positive effects of the ongoing efficiency measures contributed to the decrease.

The result from equity investments was down year-on-year at €-0.7 million (Q3/2009: €3.7 million). Generally this position reflects the developments at Scoach Holding S.A., Direct Edge Holdings LLC and European Energy Exchange AG, although the positive contribution of these companies was more than offset in the third quarter by write-downs on smaller equity investments such as, for example, ISE's stake in Ballista Securities, LLC.

Overall, Deutsche Börse Group therefore generated EBIT of €244.1 million, up slightly on the third quarter 2009 (Q3/2009: €243.7 million). EBIT rose by 7 percent to €257.4 million after adjustment for costs for efficiency programs.

The financial result in Q3/2010 amounted to €-18.6 million. The interest coverage ratio, excluding costs for efficiency programs, was 16.7 following 18.3 in H1/2010. At 27.0 percent, the effective Group tax rate in the third quarter 2010 was on a level with that recorded in 2009. The improvement in the Group tax rate since the second half of 2008 reflects the relocation of employees to Eschborn. At €3.2 million, the proportion of net income for the period attributable to non-controlling interests, which is used to share the profits and losses of subsidiaries with non-controlling interests, was down slightly on the level in the third quarter 2009.

Net income for the third quarter 2010 amounted to €161.3 million as against €158.3 million in Q3/2009. Excluding costs for efficiency programs, net income for the period amounted to €171.0 million, up 9 percent. Basic earnings per share, based on a weighted average of 185.9 million shares outstanding, amounted to €0.87 in the third quarter 2010 (Q3/2009: €0.85 for an average of 185.9 million shares outstanding). Excluding costs for efficiency programs, basic earnings per share were up 9 percent year-on-year at €0.92.

Q1-Q3/2010 results
Accumulated sales revenue in the first nine months of 2010 amounted to €1,587.9 million (Q1-Q3/2009: €1,556.3 million, up 2 percent). Total costs were €941.8 million (Q1-Q3/2009: €901.7 million, up 4 percent). Excluding costs for efficiency programs, total costs were down 10 percent year-on-year at €819.1 million. EBIT in the first nine months of the year amounted to €747.1 million (Q1-Q3/2009: €804.1 million, down 7 percent). Excluding costs for efficiency programs, EBIT was up 10 percent on the first nine months of 2009 at €869.2 million. Net income for the period amounted to €479.0 million in the first nine months of the year as against €529.1 million in the prior-year period. Excluding costs for efficiency programs, net income for the period rose by 9 percent to €568.1 million. Basic earnings per share amounted to €2.58 (Q1-Q3/2009: €2.85, down 9 percent). Excluding costs for efficiency programs, basic earnings per share were up 9 percent year-on-year at €3.06. The Group's basic operating cash flow per share amounted to €3.63 per share in the first nine months, reflecting the Group's strong earnings power.

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