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NZX lifts third-quarter profit by 23%

Friday 24th October 2008

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NZX, manager of New Zealand's stock exchange, posted a 23% gain in third-quarter profit after curbing operating costs and lifting data sales.

Net income in the three months ended September 30 rose to NZ$2.8 million from NZ$2.3 million a year earlier, the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Per-share earnings gained 17% to 31.69 cents. Sales gained 0.9% to NZ$8.1 million.

The exchange's own shares have climbed 68% from their June 2003 listing, helped by a strategy of diversifying revenue streams as income from IPOs and new listings slowed. The daily average value of trades across its stocks and debt markets fell 15% to NZ$120 million in the third quarter.

"NZX continues to focus intensely on cost management," chief executive Mark Weldon said in a statement.

Operating expenses fell 10% to NZ$3.7 million in the latest three months. The shares rose 1.9% to NZ$6.04 today, outpacing the NZX 50 Index's 0.8% gain. Of three analysts following the stock, two rate it "outperform" and one rates it a "hold."

The company didn't provide a profit forecast.

By Jonathan Underhill

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