Icap beats expectations, but shares ease back
Icap reports its highest ever annual earnings this week and notes at the same time that comments that it was not anticipating becoming a victim of consolidation have resulted in its shares easing back. Revenue rose 18% to £1.3 billion ($2.6 billion). The contribution from its electronic broking areas, including EBS, increased 38% to £273.9 million, accounting for 32% of Icap’s revenues.
“These record results demonstrate a strong performance from Icap. We have benefited from higher volatility in the interest rate, FX, equity, commodities and in parts of the credit and emerging markets that began in June 2007. Both our electronic and voice broking businesses felt the positive impact of these higher levels of activity, and we benefited from substantial operating leverage, particularly in the electronic business,” said Icap’s chief executive Michael Spencer in a prepared statement.
“The outlook for the business is positive, our strategy remains unchanged and our priorities are clear... There are many powerful, structural reasons to be positive about the future of Icap’s business and of the markets in which we operate. We estimate that the underlying annual growth rate of industry revenues, in the medium term, will be more than 10%, although there are periods when volatility and volumes in our markets can be very high.