Profit

Aquis Exchange Profit Declines as Administrative Expenses Rise

Aquis Exchange PLC reported lower pre-tax profit on Thursday despite its ability to increase revenue.

Pre-tax profit fell 30% to £700,000 in the six months to June 30, from £1.0m in the same period a year ago. This is mainly due to an increase in administrative expenses.

However, revenue rose 16% to £7.8m from £6.7m last year.

The company said the number of Aquis Exchange members increased to 42 from 39 last year, although there was a slight drop in average monthly usage, reflecting more volatile market conditions. Revenue from the Exchange division, comprising both Aquis Exchange and Aquis Stock Exchange, increased 10% to £5.4 million. In total, 12 new admissions for Aquis Stock Exchange were made this year compared to 14 a year ago.

Aquis Exchange’s market share of all pan-European transactions fell to 5.20% in the first half of this year from 5.35% a year earlier.

Looking ahead, Aquis reiterated its goal to become a leading exchange group through “prime trading opportunities”, transparency and state-of-the-art technology. The company continues to make long-term investments in technology and sales and marketing activities. In the short term, the objective is to increase trading volumes and improve fundraising prospects for small and mid caps.

Despite the macro uncertainty, Aquis said current trading “tracked in line with market expectations for the full year.”

Managing Director Alasdair Haynes said: “Our turnover continued to grow, reflecting the strong momentum within the group. This growth was driven by increased contributions from the main business areas: pan-European secondary trading, technology sales, primary issuers and data revenues… We are also particularly encouraged by the number of significant new technology licenses which continue to be be signed as this growing division becomes an increasingly important and material part of our business.

Shares of Aquis Exchange were trading down 8.0% at 368.00 pence each on AIM on Thursday afternoon.

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