Aquis Exchange announced a 42% hike in revenues to £4.9m in the first half from £3.4 m during the same period last year and recorded a profit for the first time with an after-tax result of £16,000 versus a loss of £623,000 loss in the first six months of 2019.
The UK based exchange reported EBITDA of £0.54m against a £0.18m loss in the first half last year.
Alasdair Haynes, chief executive officer of Aquis, says, “We are pleased to announce our first period of profitability, reached through further strong revenue growth. This growth has been driven by our existing members continuing to increase their trading volumes through our pan-European lit equities market.”
Haynes notes that while volatility boosted volumes, the exchange also benefitted from a resilient and strong infrastructure and technology that was able to handle the additional activity.
Haynes adds that the completion of Aquis Stock Exchange, formerly NEX Exchange, was a “milestone for the Group and marked a significant step towards achieving our ambition to become the leading exchange services group in Europe. We have now entered the primary listings market, with exciting plans in motion to further build AQSE into the first choice for quality growth businesses.”
Aquis, which operates a pan-European cash equities trading business and provides exchange software to third parties, finalised the acquisition of Nex from CME Group in March.
Haynes says the objective is build an exchange at all levels, starting with growth businesses at the sub-£10mln market cap at the early-stage Access market, before moving onto the Apex market as they mature and then onto the AQSE Main Market.
At each stage of the journey rules support would be different, reflecting the fact the “requirements for a £4m, £400m and £4bn company are totally different,” he adds. “Great companies do start small, they grow and they ultimately mature and we want to support them at each stage.”
The rest of the year will also see the exchange continue to segment the market, gain greater institutional and asset manager support, prohibit short selling and enhance trading mechanisms
As for its results in the second half, Aquis says that current trading is in line with market expectations for the full year, although the Group recognises the volatility of licensing contracts and their timing in this climate and their potential effect on revenues.