LSE rallies to five-year high on revenue as Axe leaves LCH

Ian Axe will leave as CEO of the LCH.Clearnet unit.

London Stock Exchange Group Plc climbed to a five-year high in London trading as fiscal first-quarter revenue rose. Ian Axe will leave as chief executive officer of the LCH.Clearnet unit.

The shares rallied 7.4 percent to close at 1,590 pence in London, the highest price since Feb. 18, 2008.

Revenue in the three months through June 30 climbed 39 percent to 249.7 million pounds ($379 million) from same period last year, “reflecting growth across all business divisions,” London-based LSE said in a statement today. Sales increased 8 percent excluding currency fluctuations and the acquisition of LCH.Clearnet, Europe’s biggest clearinghouse.

“Today’s statement will put upward pressure on consensus forecasts,” Peter Lenardos, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London, wrote in a report today. Revenue “exactly matched our top-of-consensus forecast,” wrote the analyst, who has an outperform recommendation on LSE, equivalent to a buy rating.

Axe, who became LCH.Clearnet’s CEO in 2011, will leave the clearinghouse months after selling a majority stake to LSE. Axe joined from Barclays Plc, where he was chief operating officer of Barclays Capital in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Seeking to revive LCH.Clearnet, Axe brokered the deal to sell a stake to LSE, applied for a license to operate in Australia, bought International Derivatives Clearing Group LLC from Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and other investors and restructured the business.

“Over the past 2 1/2 years Ian Axe has implemented a programme of strategic initiatives that has secured the future direction of the LCH.Clearnet business,” LSE said in the statement. He’s leaving “in order to pursue other interests. He will remain in his role to ensure an orderly handover process,” the company said.

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