The New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) has published its first-half results for 2018 and the interim report for the six months ended June 30, 2018, on Wednesday. During the first half of this year, the exchange experienced an increase in revenues year-on-year, but operating earnings were down.
For the first half of 2018, the total operating earnings were $9.11 million (NZ$13.9 million). This is around four percent less than the same period in 2017, which reported total operating earnings of $9.51 million (NZ$14.5 million). Net profit after tax was $2.88 million (NZ$4.4 million). This is down 75 percent from the same period last year, which saw a figure of $5.18 million (NZ$7.9 million).
For continuing operations, revenue was $21.9 million (NZ$33.4 million). This is up by two percent2% year-on-year and was driven by strong growth of trading and clearing fees as well as funds management revenues.
Operating expenses, on the other hand, increased by 7.3 percent. This was because of investments in marketing, cybersecurity, the dairy derivatives market, one-off staff-related costs and fund expenditure.
Looking at NZX’s forex business, the exchange reported a net gain of $21,633 (NZ$33,000). This is an increase of 10 percent from the first half of 2017, which reported a net gain of $19,666 (NZ$30,000).
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NZX is refocusing to create a leaner and more focused exchange
Since the beginning of this year, NZX has been selling off its non-core businesses. This is to create a leaner and more focused securities exchange. The slimming-down follows a commitment made to its shareholders that it will focus on the operation of New Zealand’s equity, debt, funds, and derivatives markets.
As a result, so far this year it has sold Farmers Weekly, the red meat and forestry components of AgriHQ, Australian Crop Forecasters and Profarmer Australia. Furthermore, the exchange is also trying to develop its secondary market and drive liquidity growth.
Commenting on the results, the CEO of NZX, Mark Peterson, said: “six months into the delivery of our five-year strategy we have advanced the business materially.”
“We have divested our non-core businesses, improved the exchange’s customer service and business efficiency, increased liquidity in the secondary market, and progressed plans to simplify the New Zealand market’s structure and rule set.
“Today’s half year financial result reflects the delivery we have made against our strategy outlined last November. We are pleased with progress being made across the key strategic areas fundamental to our future growth, and remain on track to deliver within the earnings guidance range provided in February 2018.”