StockMarketWire.com - London Stock Exchange Group on Friday warned earnings would fall short of expectations on increased costs owing to a ramp up in investments.

The company said it did not expect to meet the target Group earnings (EBITDA) margin of about 55% in 2019 nor the target 4% CAGR increase in operating expenses for 2017-19, due to 'the ongoing investment in the group to support growth and efficiency.'

'The other targets in respect of revenue growth at LCH OTC clearing and FTSE Russell, as well as the EBITDA margin for LCH, remain in place for 2019.'

The company did, however, report that profits rose by more than a fifth led by double-digit revenue growth in its information services unit. For the 12 months to 31 December, profit before tax was up 21% to £685m from a year earlier and revenues was up 8% to £1.91bn.

Strong performance was led by information services, the group's largest business segment by revenue, which saw revenue rise 9% to £841m.

LCH, the group's majority-owned global clearing business, saw a 13% increase in revenue to £487m for the year. In its capital markets division, revenue increased by 4% to 407m.

FTSE Russell delivered 15% revenue growth and LCH OTC rose revenues up 16%

'We remain well positioned in an evolving regulatory and macroeconomic environment and remain focused on achieving the 2019 financial targets,' the company said.

A final dividend increase of 43.2p per share was declared, pushing the full year dividend up 17% to 60.4 pence per share.

'We have delivered another year of strong performance across the Group, with a 9% increase in income and 17% growth in both adjusted earnings and proposed dividend,' said David Schwimmer, CEO, LSEG.

'We have continued to invest in new initiatives, developing our information services business and increasing our majority holding in LCH, as well as taking a minority stake in Euroclear.'

'The strategic positioning of each of our businesses has reinforced for me the continued opportunities for growth. We will continue to invest in our businesses and to increase Group-wide collaboration to better meet the needs of our clients and to continue to drive strong returns for our shareholders.'




At 8:28am: [LON:LSE] London Stock Exchange Group PLC share price was -18p at 4489p



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