London Stock Exchange Group warns of further cost increases

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LONDON, Aug 6 - The London Stock Exchange Group announced a rise of 4.6% in revenue on Friday in the second half of 2021 but warned about a hike in costs in the first part of the year.

The owner of Britain's stock market said total revenue hit 3.36 billion pounds. Operating profit jumped to 1.17 billion pounds from 457 million pounds a year earlier.

The 500 year bourse is looking to transform with the takeover of Refinitiv into a single-stop-shop for data, trading and analytics. However the costs of absorbing the data provider have worried some investors, sending its shares down 20% since March to send more details on integration when it gives more details.

The group said on Friday that about 77 million pounds of cost synergies achieved on a run-rate basis from the Refinitiv takeover have been realised. It expects that to hit 125 million pounds by the end of the year, up from its previous guidance of 88 million pounds.

Nevertheless, it warned that it expected further cost increases in the second half of 2021, caused by the return of COVID-related costs such as travel as well as ongoing expenses from legacy IT and inflation.

It said it would pay an interim dividend of 25 pence for each share, a rise of 7% from a year ago.

Thomson Reuters now owns a minority stake in the group following the deal, and Refinitiv pays Thomson Reuters for news it distributes on its terminals.