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NZX first-half profit rises 18% as expenses kept in check

Thursday 24th July 2008

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NZX Ltd., operator of New Zealand's stock exchange, posted an 18% gain in first-half profit after lifting sales and keeping a lid on expenses growth.

Net income rose to NZ$4.97 million or 20.26 cents a share in the six months ended June 30, the company said in a statement today. Operating revenue at its biggest NZX Markets unit rose 8% to NZ$14.75 million, led by growth in data sales.

Under chief executive Mark Weldon, the exchange operator has been diversifying to reduce reliance on its core markets revenue, including Appello, a business offering support services to fund managers. Market conditions will erode revenue from listings, trading and settlements in the second half, while data sales growth may abate, the company said today.

The result "reflects our strategy to structure NZX business lines in such a way as to minimize the impact of negative cyclical market conditions," Weldon said.

The benchmark NZX 50 Index has decline 21% this year. Total trades across the NZX's markets fell 7% to 288,653 in the first half, the exchange said today.

The market value on the NZSX fell 28% to NZ$55 billion while the value of the NZDX debt market rose 38% to NZ$13 billion.

By Jonathan Underhill

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