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ICAP Profit Will Meet Estimates Even as Broking Contracts

Two men shelter under an umbrella bearing the ICAP logo in London. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

ICAP Plc, the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks, said it expects full-year profit to be in line with analysts’ estimates, even as sales from its broking unit continued to decline.

Revenue in ICAP’s global broking division contracted by 14 percent in February and March compared to the same period last year, the London-based firm said in a statement today. The electronic markets unit showed “strong growth,” boosted by volatility as the Federal Reserve considers whether to scale back bond purchases, ICAP said.

The shares rose 2.6 percent to 387.5 pence in London trading. ICAP said estimates for its full-year profit range between 266 million pounds ($443 million) and 280 million pounds, according to a poll of 11 analysts by the company. It reports full-year results on May 14.

“Trading activity levels in the global broking division have declined consistent with general market trends,” the company said.

Interdealer brokers such as ICAP act as a go-between for banks that trade bonds, stocks, currencies, energy and derivatives. They profit when prices fluctuate because more traders use the products they trade.

The company said today it remains “cash generative and in a strong financial position.”

ICAP said in February that revenue in the three months to the end of December had declined 6 percent.

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