ICAP (IAPLY) , the London-based brokerage firm, reported a surge in first half profit Wednesday and said its planned tie-up with Tullett Prebon should be completed this year.
ICAP said pretax profits for the six months ending in September from its continuing operations rose 78% to £66 million ($82.5 million) from revenues of £254 million. Trading profit, however, fell 7% to £51 million.
"These are uncertain times for global financial markets as we try to understand the impact of both the Brexit vote and the very recent US election," said CEO Michael Spencer. "Despite this uncertainty, it is important that we continue to invest wisely in our product portfolio and financial technology incubator, Euclid Opportunities, to achieve long term profitable growth. In the absence of unforeseen circumstances, we plan to hold the dividend at (22 pence per share) for this year."
Earlier this fall, U.K. regulators signed-off on a deal between ICAP and its former rival, Tullett Prebon, that will create NEX Group plc, a voice-brokerage firm. ICAP had originally planned to hold a 19.9% stake in the combined group, but said last spring that it would instead return that value to shareholders.
"I am excited to be in the final phase of the Transaction before the launch of NEX Group plc. We are pleased that the FCA has recently cleared the Transaction with Tullett Prebon," Spencer said. "We remain optimistic that the Transaction will complete by the end of the year, however the Transaction requires other change of control consents to be received before completion can occur. Tullett Prebon is responsible for and working to secure those outstanding clearances."
ICAP shares closed at 529.18 pence each Tuesday in London, down 0.62% on the session. The stock has risen more than 34%, however, since Britain's vote to leave the European Union on June 23.