World Bulletin / News Desk
European stock market operator Euronext said Wednesday that cost-cutting enabled it to lift profits last year despite market volatility triggered by Brexit and the US elections.
Euronext, which operates the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock exchanges, said in a statement that bottom-line net profit grew by 14.1 percent to 197 million euros ($208 million) in 2016, despite a 4.3-percent drop in revenues to 496.4 million euros.
Nevertheless, belt-tightening helped offset the decline in revenues.
"In a year marked by lower volumes on our markets that induced... a 4.3-percent decrease in revenue, we have managed to maintain" stable underlying or operating profit, the company explained.
"Our cost base has been significantly reduced. As a result, our profitability... increased significantly."
In view of the rise in profits, Euronext said it would increase its dividend to shareholders by 14.5 percent to 1.42 euros per share.
"These results demonstrate Euronext's continuous capability to service our shareholders and customers, and to deliver value against a tough trading environment," the statement said.
Looking ahead, "2017 will be a critical year for our industry landscape," said chief executive Stephane Boujnah.
Euronext rivals, the stock exchanges of London and Frankfurt, are currently negotiating a merger to create a financial markets behemoth competing with the likes of the Chicago exchange and ICE in the United States, as well as the Hong Kong stock exchange in Asia.
However, regional markets struggled as profit-takers moved in after a healthy week and traders were spooked by reports the man probing Donald Trump's links to Russia will also investigate his business dealings.
In initial deals in the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 slipped 0.2 percent to 12,424.80 points and the CAC 40 in Paris also slipped 0.2 percent to 5,188.92 points compared with the closing levels on Thursday.
The greenback had soared along with global markets for months after Trump's November election victory on hopes his big-spending, tax-cutting policies would fire up the world's top economy and fan inflation.
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