The London Stock Exchange, which recently saw its £21bn merger with German stock exchange Deutsche Börse collapse, said it was still on the hunt for further investments.

LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet said: "We continue to be actively engaged in exploring selective ongoing organic and inorganic investments in order to drive further growth."

The group reported "strong" growth in income from continuing operations up 19% to £458.7m, buoyed by rising demand for its clearing and data businesses in the period from January to 25 April.

It was the first trading statement from the group since its merger was blocked by the European Union on competition grounds last month.

The firm's trading was boosted by a 31% increase in income at key clearing and settlements unit LCH, and a 24% rise in turnover at FTSE Russell, its US-based data business.

It added that it had begun a £200m share buyback programme that was the equivalent of the special dividend shareholders would have received if the Deutsche Börse deal had gone through.

However, the group said earnings were hit by the decline in the value of the pound against the euro and the dollar.

A €0.05 change in the average euro-to-sterling rate would have resulted in a change to continuing operations total income of around £6.3m for the first quarter, while a $0.05 US dollar-to-sterling move would have resulted change of around £4.9m.