SIX posts H1 operating income rise despite strong Swiss franc

Source: SIX posts H1

SIX performed well in the first half of 2015. Results improved slightly compared with the previous year.

EBIT rose by 4.4% to CHF 157.7 million, which is particularly impressive given the difficult environment caused by the strong Swiss franc. The tougher environment was reflected in the net financial result, which declined by CHF 14.4 million compared with the previous year. Due to lower net interest income and higher taxes, Group net profit decreased by 2.4% to CHF 127.5 million.

Income in the areas of securities trading and post-trade services, in particular, rose sharply. Both areas benefited from the high level of volatility and increased trading activity following the discontinuation of the Swiss franc/euro exchange rate floor by the SNB in January 2015. In contrast, the strong Swiss franc led to a lower income in the Financial Information and Payment Services business areas.

Performance of the business areas

Operating income in the Swiss Exchange business area rose by 8.4% to CHF 110.5 million. At the same time, EBIT increased by 1.9% to CHF 55.8 million. This strong result is attributable to a significant increase in trading activity compared with the previous year. The number of stock exchange trades climbed by 39.6%, with trading turnover up by 30.9%. At 68.9%, the average market share in trading with Swiss blue chip stock is up on the previous year's level (66.6%).

The Securities Services business area achieved the strongest growth of all of the business areas in the first half of the year, with operating income up 10.7% to CHF 177.6 million and EBIT 4.5% higher year-on-year, at CHF 30.9 million. Following the discontinuation of the exchange rate floor, settlement transactions grew sharply (+18.4%) and the volume of securities under custody rose by 9.2%.

The Financial Information business area posted a slight year-on-year decline in operating income of 2.6% to CHF 191.6 million due to currency effects. Adjusted for currency effects, the business grew by 2.5%. EBIT rose by 6.1% to CHF 23.2 million. Most encouragingly, this means that the business area has continued to perform positively since 2013.

Due to currency effects, operating income in the Payment Services business area was down 2.8%, at CHF 419.9 million. However, adjusted for currency effects, income was 5.3% higher compared with the previous year. EBIT rose by 3.9% to CHF 37.2 million. Acquiring transactions posted a growth of 12.5% growth, while processing transactions grew by 5.5%.

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