The London Stock Exchange Group will offer shareholders a 20 per cent increase in their full-year dividend, further indicating the group is preparing for the expected failure of its €29bn merger with Deutsche Borse.

After a year in the making, the UK group said this week it was unlikely to get clearance from antitrust regulators for the deal as the LSE was unable to meet one of the watchdog’s demands.

The deal will proceed until regulators make a formal decision in a month’s time.

On Friday the LSE proposed final dividend of 31.2p, making a full-year dividend increase of 20 per cent to 43.2p, to reflect “the strong outlook for the group.”

For the year to December 31 total income at the LSE rose 17 per cent to £1.7bn. Operating profit rose 6 per cent to £426.1m. Pre-tax profits fell to £192.9m from £357.1m a year ago on increased costs relating to the deal and higher tax charges.

Xavier Rolet, group chief executive, said the numbers showed another year of strong financial performance.

“Each of our business areas delivered year-on-year growth, highlighting the strength in the diversity of our business,” he said.

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