Stock market operator NZX saw first half net profit fall 91% following the sale of assets in the same period last year.
NZX, which released the result after the market closed last night, said net profit was $5.7 million for the six months to June 30, down from $60.8 million a year earlier when NZX sold its stakes in the TZ1 carbon registry business and Bond Exchange of South Africa.
NZX has come under repeated fire for the timing of its announcements as they are often made outside market hours and so seen by market participants as not only not providing a good example but also trying to fly under the radar.
"Interim profit was flat after accounting for the asset sales," NZX said in a statement.
"It is difficult to compare directly with the first half of 2009, as the shape of the total business has changed so fundamentally since then," NZX chief executive Mark Weldon said.
NZX had bought energy and agricultural businesses and the Clear Grain Exchange in Australia and it was continuing to focus on information, markets and infrastructure.
Were NZX not to have reshaped the business, its overall operating profit would have fallen by at least 20%, he said.
In September, NZX is launching the Clearing House and the derivatives market.
Having shaped its core business, the market operator said it will now focus on generating growth from its assets.
Interim operating revenue rose 28% to $23.9 milliion, operating expenditure rose 61% to $15.4m, and its operating profit margin fell to 35.8% from 48.7%.
Market listing and trading revenue fell as a result of lower activity on capital markets compared with record levels of capital raising last year.
NZX expected to generate revenue growth of between 8% and 10% for the second half of the year.
The company forecast a recovery in market activity in the fourth quarter and through next year, with higher revenue from capital raisings and listing fee revenue.
Shares in NZX, which declared an interim dividend of 3.75 cents a share, closed down 3c at 141.
NBR staff and NZPA
Wed, 18 Aug 2010