Shares in Euronext moved above its float price after the European exchanges operator said on Thursday it had cut costs faster than expected in its first three months as an independent company.
The Paris-headquartered group has been reshaping its business since demerging from Intercontinental Exchange in late June and listing on four of its European markets – Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Brussels. A mixture of cost cuts in technology and relocations of offices meant Euronext hit a planned margin target earlier than anticipated.
While the float allowed the group to regain its independence after a seven-year hiatus, its management acknowledged it would have to reorganise and slim operations. A year ago, the company’s figures were still part of the larger NYSE Euronext. Amid weak economic growth in the eurozone, the group’s shares have consistently traded below its €20-per-share listing price.
Third-quarter results showed turnover for the three months to September 30 rose from €101.9m to €112.3m year-on-year, on an adjusted basis. The figures were adjusted to incorporate a new clearing agreement with LCH.Clearnet.
The performance was driven by the rebound in trading on cash equity markets, sales of market data and a resurgence of listings on exchanges around the world. Turnover from listings fees rose 18 per cent to €13.2m, making it the second largest exchange in Europe by capital raised this year. Shares in the group rose 0.4 per cent to €20.73 in morning trade in Paris.
As a result margins on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose from 38.3 per cent to 44.1 per cent. The group said it had subsequently exceeded its target of 45 per cent margin on ebitda.
Operating profit, on an adjusted basis, rose 19.9 per cent to €50m year-on-year.
Dominique Cerutti, chief executive, said the company was looking at areas where further cuts could be made, which would be “transformational”. He declined to elaborate further but confirmed it would move from its current Paris headquarters.
Euronext said quarterly operational expenses, excluding depreciation and amortisation, fell 8.2 per cent compared with the same period a year ago. It added that it would meet a target to deliver €60m worth of cost savings by the end of June next year, some 18 months ahead of its indicated schedule.
Mr Cerutti also shook off worries about a slowdown in the eurozone, where the central bank has cut its deposit rate and launched a private sector asset purchase programme to shore up the region’s fragile economy.
“We remain confident that the long-term economic and regulatory cycle favourable for Euronext’s growth continues, despite some recent short-term market turbulence,” he added.
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