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NZX posts slower Q3 revenue growth as election weighed

Wednesday 29th October 2014

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NZX, the New Zealand stock exchange operator, said third quarter revenue growth almost halved from the year earlier pace as activity slowed ahead of September's general election and the number of new listings declined.

The Wellington-based company said revenue rose 6.7 percent to $16.5 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, lagging the year earlier's 12 percent pace. New capital listed over the latest quarter was 27 percent below the year earlier period when dairy processor Synlait Milk, intelligence software developer Wynyard Group and service station chain Z Energy joined the bourse.

"The beginning of the quarter saw a flurry of initial public offerings, while activity in capital markets in general slowed towards the end of quarter as the markets awaited the outcome of New Zealand's general election" on Sept. 20, the NZX said in a statement.

New Zealand’s stock exchange operator benefited in 2013 from a revival in companies coming to market as the government partially privatised energy companies MightyRiverPower and Meridian Energy while privately owned businesses such as Z Energy, SLI Systems and Synlait Milk also publicly listed. The pace of growth has slowed this year as the government listed just one smaller asset, Genesis Energy, and the remaining offerings are much smaller.

NZX’s capital markets business, which accounts for more than half of the company’s revenue, increased sales 5.7 percent to $9.5 million in the third quarter, reflecting a 29 percent increase in securities information revenue. Listings revenue declined 6 percent over the quarter reflecting a drop in secondary capital raisings and new capital listings, it said. Securities trading revenue increased 2.8 percent while securities clearing revenue rose 6.2 percent, it said.

Revenue from the company's market operations unit, which operates fixed-price contracts for Fonterra and the Electricity Authority, rose 15 percent to $3.2 million, NZX said. A gain in consulting revenue from major projects for the Electricity Authority was offset by lost revenue from the Gas Allocation agent role which boosted revenue in the prior period.

Sales from agricultural information, the third-largest unit, edged up 0.7 percent to $3 million as subscription numbers rose 14 percernt to 11,745. The unit had a 3 percent drop in advertising pages although traffic to NZX Agri websites rose 40 percent with steady growth in online advertising revenue, the company said.

The company’s fund management unit increased revenue 15 percent to $698,000 as funds under management increased 14 percent, it said.

Revenue from soft commodities gained 3.1 percent to $134,000 as an increase in dairy derivative trading was offset by a reduction in commodities trading revenue, it said.

Shares in NZX last traded at $1.17, and have dropped 5.7 percent so far this year.


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