CME profits fall, but results exceed expectations

CME annual results exceed expectations, but profits fall amid tough fourth quarter.

CME Group reported an overall decline in profits and tough fourth quarter in 2015, but results beat expectations.

Net income attributable to the futures market operator decreased in the quarter, as it reported a profit of $291.7 million, down from 2014 when profits hit $306.5 million.

CME suffered a tough fourth quarter as revenue decreased from $841.1 million to $813.8 million, just above what analysts had predicted for fourth quarter earnings.

Analysts projected $810.8 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

CME’s average daily volume decreased 11% to 13.2 million, compared to the fourth quarter in 2014.

Clearing and transaction fee revenue also decreased by 5% compared to last year’s fourth quarter, to $679 million.

However, CME reported improved yearly figures, as clearing and transaction fee revenue increased by 6% year on year to $2.8 billion. Its market data revenue also increased by 12% to $399 million compared to the prior year.

CME Group chief executive officer Phupinder Gill, said: "We were very active during 2015 in terms of new product innovation and expanding our global partnerships, including securing the long-term rights to the FTSE Russell indexes.”

Gill concluded: “During the year, we increased our operating margin by reducing costs from the prior year, driving efficiency and improving our agility in serving customers globally."

CME reported its average daily volume reached 14 million contracts in 2015, breaking records in total options and electronic options.