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London Stock Exchange Revenue Rises 19%

The London Stock Exchange, which is buying Borsa Italiana, reported record first-quarter revenue of 100.1 million pounds ($203 million) on Wednesday due to strong share trading and company flotations.

The LSE said revenue for the three months ended June, the first quarter of its financial year, rose 19% from a year earlier as initial public offerings (IPOs) on the main board hit their highest level in six years.

"This strong first quarter performance underpins our confidence in an excellent outcome for the full year," the LSE said.

Its quarterly revenue was 26% of the full-year market forecast of 379.2 million pounds, according to Reuters Estimates.

"In the months ahead we look forward to completing our merger with Borsa Italiana to create Europe's leading diversified exchange group," Chief Executive Clara Furse said in a statement.

The LSE announced its takeover of Borsa Italiana on June 23, a move which was expected to generate total synergies of 40 million pounds and be earnings accretive by at least 10%
in the financial year ending March 2009.

The LSE said revenue from its issuer services rose 35% to a record 19.4 million pounds in the first quarter as 128 IPOs raised a total of 10.2 billion pounds ($20.68 billion).

That was more than double the 4.7 billion pounds raised by 138 IPOs in the same quarter last year.

There were 43 IPOs on the main board in the first quarter, the highest level in six years.

Broker services, which accounted for almost half of total revenue, increase 18% to 47.5 million pounds, the second-best quarterly performance on record.

Between April and June, average daily trading volumes on the London bourse's electronic SETS system reached 501,000, up 51% from a year earlier, the LSE said.

This exceeded the 480,000 average daily trading volume full-year target set by the LSE at the beginning of the year.

With the introduction of an advanced trading engine in June, analysts expect further volume growth.

However, yield per trade fell to 1.09 pounds during the period, from 1.44 pounds in the same period last year and 1.32 pounds in the last financial year, according to Citigroup analysts.

Shares of the LSE, which had risen 8.2% in the three months to June, fell 0.15%, in
line with the wider market.

European shares opened lower on Wednesday as growing concern over the U.S. subprime mortgage market caused U.S. and Asian stocks to tumble, hitting financial stocks and exporters.