Aquis says it will trump City market expectations

Aquis, one of the UK’s smaller alternatives to the London Stock Exchange’s Aim, has said it expects to surpass market expectations on its 2020 annual performance.

The exchange group, formerly known as NEX, said it “anticipates reporting revenues of no less than £11m, marginally ahead of market expectations” for the 12 months to 31 December.

In a 26 February update, it added that it also expects to deliver a full-year profit both before and after tax, again ahead of market expectations.

The exchange is now split across trading venues in London and Paris to manage the requirements of EU-listed shares. It has also benefitted from the UK’s equivalence agreement with Switzerland, with 130 Swiss-listed companies now on the exchange including Novartis, Roche and Nestlé.

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The UK’s burgeoning network of smaller exchanges weathered the toll of the country’s post-Brexit regulatory landscape and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, as support for LSE’s Aim has continued to flag in recent years.

“We have long been well-prepared for Brexit-related changes and are pleased to report the successful and seamless continuation of our operations in the UK and the transfer of our European trading business to the Paris office,” said Aquis chief executive Alasdair Haynes.

The group said revenue growth in 2020 was driven in part by strong data and technology sales, high trading volumes and licensing contract renewals.

Aquis has already gained a boost this year with the promise of e-commerce firm Samarkand’s £50m IPO on the exchange, which announced its intention to float on 8 February. Aquis said the listing will “[demonstrate] our ability to compete with other UK exchanges in the IPO market”.

“Despite the continued pandemic-related restrictions seen across our markets, we continue to achieve substantial operational progress and have beaten market expectations,” Haynes added.

“Looking forward to 2021, we remain confident in our ability to execute against our growth strategy.”

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle