February 15, 2017 / 7:38 PM / a year ago

Deutsche Boerse 2016 operating profit rises 18 percent

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) reported an 18 percent jump in 2016 operating profit on Wednesday, as its commodities and international clearing business made up for a weaker market environment.

The German exchange operator, which is planning a $27 billion merger with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) (LSE.L), said earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 1.1 billion euros ($1.16 billion).

That was slightly ahead of consensus for 1.08 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

The group said it would pay shareholders a dividend of 2.35 euros per share for 2016. Analysts had on average expected it to raise its dividend to 2.36 euros, from 2.25 euros a year earlier.

Deutsche Boerse and LSE are awaiting approval of their merger by the European Commission, which has expressed antitrust concerns.

    The German exchange is also under pressure as its Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter has become the focus of an insider trading investigation by German prosecutors.

    It said its adjusted net profit rose 14 percent to 810.8 million euros last year and it predicted growth of between 10-15 percent for 2017. It forecast net revenue will rise 5-10 percent this year after increasing 8 percent to 2.389 billion in 2016.

    Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Michael Nienaber and Susan Fenton

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