Icap Q1 revenues dip

Source: Icap

Icap plc (IAP.L), the world's leading interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services, is making this Interim Management Statement in relation to the period from 1 April 2012 to 11 July 2012 and the outlook for ICAP's financial year ending 31 March 2013.

It will be delivered to shareholders attending ICAP's Annual General Meeting today.

As indicated in our full year results announcement on 16 May, broking activity in the first quarter was subdued as the ongoing Eurozone crisis, the Queen's Jubilee and regulatory uncertainty reduced trading volumes, although we have seen strong growth in our post trade services division. Overall, group revenue for the first quarter was 9% lower compared with the same quarter last year.

At the same time ICAP is making substantial progress on its structural review of recurring costs. It now expects to achieve the full run rate savings in excess of £50 million per annum by the end of the current financial year. This was originally targeted for the end of financial year 2013/14 and therefore the figure for the next financial year will be substantially higher. These savings exclude the impact of reduced trading on brokers' variable compensation.

Michael Spencer, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: "I'm pleased with the rapid progress we have made in our cost-saving programme. This has been achieved due to exceptional teamwork across the organisation. Our post trade business has shown good growth in the quarter and we expect this to continue. Voice broking however has been especially challenging. Our strong balance sheet and cash generation means we can continue to invest in technology and innovative solutions for our customers. This, in turn, will create opportunities for future growth and ensure that we benefit from the upcoming regulatory changes and the eventual return of more normalised financial markets. We are pleased to have purchased PLUS Stock Exchange just recently which gives us greatly improved electronic trading options.

"The sluggish global economy and Eurozone crisis are inevitably leading to reduced trading volumes despite some active days. The Federal Reserve's decision to extend Operation Twist and the lack of aggressive action to resolve the Eurozone crisis is not helping to normalise financial market activity in the near-term."

Full-year outlook:
The Group is well positioned for growth in the medium term, based on the strength of its diversified business model, its strong cashflow generation and the forthcoming changes in the regulatory environment. In the shorter term the ongoing macro-economic uncertainty, the potential impact of the London Olympics and the US elections, as well as regulatory uncertainty affecting some of ICAP's customers, mean we are anticipating that trading volumes will remain subdued for at least the next few months. Even with current depressed levels of activity as a result of our swift cost reductions, we expect pre-tax profits for the year to 31 March 2013 will be towards the middle of the current analyst range1 of £335 million to £365 million compared to £354 million last year.

Business performance:
In the first quarter, the voice business recorded lower activity overall as market uncertainty continued. Commodities and the recently enlarged financial futures and options business have outperformed the rest of the voice business. Emerging markets performance has been disappointing due to the lack of risk appetite in cross-border trading, though this is expected to improve and revenue growth in Brazil remains strong.

On ICAP's electronic foreign exchange and fixed income platforms, EBS and BrokerTec, total average daily volumes for the quarter ended 30 June 2012 were $712 billion, a decrease of 19% year-on-year. In fixed income, total average daily volumes on the BrokerTec platform were $586 billion, a decrease of 18% on the previous year, in part due to macroeconomic uncertainty and low interest rate volatility. Average daily volumes on EBS decreased 24% year-on-year to $126 billion for the quarter, partly impacted by the range-bound nature of some of EBS's main currencies. June 2012 was a record month for a number of emerging markets currencies and instruments on EBS, including Russian ruble, CNH (offshore Chinese renminbi) and non-deliverable forwards.

Yesterday EBS announced new dealing rules. These were developed following extensive consultation with customers as part of a wide-ranging review of the business. The new dealing rules support EBS's position at the heart of the FX market. They are focused on strengthening the market ecology and ensuring the EBS platform is delivering the most reliable and trusted source of genuine executable liquidity for all market participants. EBS is also launching a new brand identity to reinforce its leading role in promoting the health and integrity of the FX market.

The post trade risk and information business continued to demonstrate good growth, with the strongest performance coming from Traiana. At 30 June 2012 Traiana's Harmony network was processing an average of 1.3 million transactions per day, an increase of more than 30% over the same period last year. CLSAS, ICAP's aggregation service joint venture with CLS, processed an average of 348,000 transactions per day in the first quarter, an increase of 75% over the same period last year. TriOptima, which through triReduce, its compression service for interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and commodity derivatives, helped customers reduce their counterparty credit risk by eliminating $18 trillion in OTC derivative notional principal outstanding in the first quarter.

The acquisition of PLUS Stock Exchange plc for £500,000 completed on 21 June 2012. ICAP is fully committed to continue supporting and expanding the equities listings venue. ICAP is also well positioned to leverage PLUS's exchange status to offer new products and solutions for its customers.

Financial position:
ICAP remains strongly cash generative with low borrowings. The Group is currently considering issuing a retail bond of up to £50 million to diversify its sources of funding and maturities further. 

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