April 26, 2017 / 6:47 AM / 4 months ago

LSE reports higher income, says exploring investments

A woman walks past the London Stock Exchange building in the City of London, Britain, January 16 , 2017.Toby Melville

(Reuters) - London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) reported higher quarterly income as its clearing and FTSE Russell index compiling businesses grew strongly, adding it was exploring investments to drive growth after the collapse of its proposed Deutsche Boerse merger.

Helped by weak sterling, LSE reported a 19 percent rise in total income from continuing operations to 458.7 million pounds for the quarter ended March 31, while comparable revenue was up 18 percent at 420.6 million pounds.

Analysts on an average had expected income of 448.5 million pounds and revenue of 411.6 million pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus.

The results come just under a month after EU regulators blocked LSE's planned merger with Deutsche Boerse DBIGn.DE, citing concerns over a potential monopoly in the processing of bond trades.

The failure of LSE's third attempt to combine with Deutsche Boerse has reignited speculation that an overseas exchange may make a fresh bid for the British firm, with NYSE-owner ICE (ICE.N) having briefly expressed interest last year.

The industry has been trying to consolidate for years amid weaker trading volumes and shrinking margins, but regulatory concerns, along with nationalist wrangling, have hindered many cross-border deals.

"The group has made a strong start to the year... We continue to be actively engaged in exploring selective ongoing organic and inorganic investments in order to drive further growth," LSE Chief Executive Xavier Rolet said on Wednesday.

The company, which owns Borsa Italiana and the London Stock Exchange, said it was well placed to benefit from the introduction of MiFID II, new rules that are aimed to make European securities markets more transparent.

LSE shares were up 0.76 percent at 3332 pence at 0713 GMT, outperforming the FSTE 100 index .FTSE, which was negative. The stock was the third top bluechip gainer.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; editing by Louise Heavens and Keith Weir

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