LONDON (Reuters) -London Stock Exchange Group reported slightly stronger than expected 2022 income on Thursday, and hailed its integration of Refinitiv as a success as it announced plans to buy back more of its shares.
LSEG said it would seek shareholder consent to buy more of its own stock from the Blackstone and Thomson Reuters consortium from which it acquired Refinitiv in January 2021 for $27 billion.
Shares in LSEG were trading 1.2% lower in early trading.
The group reported total income, including recoveries, of 7.743 billion pounds ($9.28 billion) in preliminary results for 2022, just above analysts’ consensus of 7.733 billion pounds, and up from 6.535 billion in 2021.
It reported a basic earnings per share of 141.8 pence and a dividend per share of 107 pence, both above analysts’ forecasts and raised its guidance on revenue synergies from 225 million pounds by 2025 to 350-400 million pounds.
“In addition to our existing share buyback, we are today announcing plans to seek shareholder approval for a buyback directed towards the Blackstone/Thomson Reuters consortium’s stake, which will benefit all shareholders,” LSEG Chief Executive David Schwimmer said in a statement.
He said the consortium owned just over 30% of LSEG shares when the Refinitiv deal was completed.
The directed buyback from the Blackstone/Thomson Reuters consortium, is expected to be up to 750 million pounds by April 2024, LSEG said.
About of 10% of LSEG equity is available for sale by the consortium, larger than the 750 million pound share buyback announced on Thursday.
LSEG said 300 million pounds of a separate, broader 750 million pound share buyback was executed in 2022, with the remainder to be completed by July 2023.
“We continue to deliver on all of our key targets,” LSEG chief financial officer Anna Manz told a media call.
The Refinitiv deal transformed the exchange, with data and analytics accounting for 4.944 billion pounds of the company’s total income of 7.743 billion pounds in 2022, eclipsing the sums earned by its traditional activities including share trading that go back more than 300 years.
Thomson Reuters, the parent company of Reuters News, owned about $5.6 billion worth of LSEG shares as of Jan 31.
Schwimmer said the integration of Refinitiv and a strategic $2 billion partnership announced with Microsoft in December meant the group is “shifting from integration to transformation”.
($1 = 0.8344 pounds)
(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Sinead Cruise and Tomasz Janowski)