London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) delivered a strong set of results in 2015, as it lifted its dividend after posting a sharp increase in revenue and total income.
In the 12 months to 31 December 2015, LSE recorded a 72% year-on-year increase in total income to £2.38bn ($3.37bn, €3.08bn), while total revenue surged 78% from the corresponding period in 2014 to £2.29bn and rose 11% on a continuing operation basis.
The FTSE 100 group said its operating expenses were "well controlled", rising 1% during the year on an organic and constant currency basis to £1.05bn, while adjusted pre-tax profit rose 31% £643.4m.
Meanwhile, total adjusted operating profit stood at £709.6m, up 27% year-on-year, and reported operating profit rose 44.5% to £499.9m.
LSE, which has proposed a final dividend of 25.2p per share, taking the full-year dividend to 36p for a 20% year-on-year increase, said it has agreed the sale of Russell Investment Management for $1.1bn, indicating it expects to complete the transaction by the first of half of 2016 and will use the proceeds used to repay debt.
On 23 February, the London-listed company confirmed it was in talks over a potential merger with Deutsche Borse to create a European global markets infrastructure group. Under the proposed deal Deutsche Borse's shareholders would hold 54.4% of the new company, while LSE shareholders would hold the remaining 45.6%.
Both companies, which had previously attempted to merge in 2000 and in 2004, said all their main businesses would continue to operate under their current brand names but, on 26 February, Deustche Borse warned the plan could be jeopardised if Britain votes in favour of leaving the European Union.
However, LSE group chief executive Xavier Rolet confirmed talks were ongoing and describe the potential deal as a pivotal moment for both companies.
"We have recently confirmed that we are in detailed discussions with Deutsche Borse regarding a potential merger of equals," he said.
"This represents a compelling opportunity to strengthen each other in an industry-defining combination, by creating a global market infrastructure group with significant benefits for our customers and shareholders."