SIX Group, the Swiss stock market operator that bought Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) in 2020, earned 439.6 million Swiss francs (400 million euros) last year compared to 120.5 million obtained a year earlier. The improvement in net profit was driven, in addition to the contribution from the Spanish market, by the sale of 5% of the capital of the French payments and transactions company Worldline. The significant upturn in the lower part of the income statement was also accompanied by operating income of 1,376 million francs, 21.8% higher than in 2019. On the other hand, the gross operating profit (ebitda) it grew by 72.8% to 368 million francs.
SIX Group acquired BME last year after launching a takeover of 100% of the company. The Spanish Stock Exchange contributed almost 200 euros to the operating income of its parent company between June, when the change of ownership was completed, and December. 40% of BME’s turnover in 2020 corresponded to the equity business, while 24% was contributed by the market data and value-added services, and 21% corresponded to settlement and registration activity. The number of inter-annual stock transactions on the Spanish stock market increased by 50%.
Due to the increase in activity in the trading of BME shares, clearing and settlement operations in this market segment also grew: equity clearing transactions were 48.4% higher than in 2019. The number of settlement orders grew 5.8%.
Due to the effects of the pandemic, electronic and digital payment solutions increased significantly in 2020. Specifically, SIX experienced a 60% increase in digital invoices (eBill operations).
Based on the results obtained in 2020, the company’s board of directors has proposed to the general meeting of shareholders an ordinary dividend of 4.3 Swiss francs per share. This proposal represents an improvement of 10.25% with respect to the remuneration corresponding to the previous year.
The stock traders sector is in the process of concentration. The Swiss group disbursed around 2,800 million euros to take control of BME last year, but this strong outlay does not prevent the Swiss group from continuing to assess opportunities to grow through new acquisitions. “While SIX focuses on organic growth, alliances and purchases represent an opportunity to accelerate or complement this growth strategy,” the company notes in the results note. “The infrastructures of the financial market have high fixed costs. By obtaining additional volumes, it is possible to quickly achieve significant scale effects, with the consequent increase in profitability and, therefore, in innovation capacity, which means an increase in the competitive capacity of the infrastructure ”, they add.
Parallel to this growth strategy, SIX wants to continue promoting the integration of BME in 2021 “in order to benefit as soon as possible from the expected scale effects and the expected synergies”.
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