Oslo Bors posts preliminary results for Q4 2018 in view of Euronext offer

Maria Nikolova

Oslo Børs VPS Holding reports a profit of NOK 76 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.

In the light of the offer from Euronext N.V to acquire all outstanding shares in Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA, Oslo Børs VPS Holding has earlier today published the preliminary financial metrics for the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to the report (results are unaudited), Oslo Børs VPS Holding reports a profit of NOK 76 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Reported revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was NOK 268 million, up NOK 16 million from the year-ago quarter. Reported revenue for the full 2018 was NOK 52 million higher than in 2017. Revenue from Oslo Børs and VPS increased by approximately NOK 8 million and NOK 7 million respectively compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, while for 2018 as a whole revenue from Oslo Børs and VPS increased by NOK 34 million and NOK 15 million respectively.

Operating expenses before capitalisation of internal costs, depreciation and amortisation of excess value amounted to NOK 160 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of NOK 15 million from the fourth quarter of 2017. For 2018 as a whole, operating expenses before capitalisation of internal costs, depreciation and amortisation of excess value were NOK 46 million higher than in 2017. The increase in the quarter is blamed on costs in connection with projects at Oslo Børs and VPS.

The Group’s operating expenses also reflect the notification that Tax East (one of the regional offices of the Norwegian Tax Administration) will require the group to change its practice of deducting input value-added tax in a joint registration for the years 2015 and 2016. Oslo Børs VPS Holding has disputed this but has made a proportionate provision in its accounts for the sake of prudence.

Oslo Bors notes that its net financial income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was NOK 2 million lower than in the same period in 2017. The drop reflects interest expenses on the bond loan that the group issued in May.

In terms of outlook, Oslo Bors VPS forecasts its 2019 revenues to total approximately NOK 1,081 million. The group’s operating expenses before depreciation and amortisation are currently expected to be around NOK 557 million in 2019 (salary and personnel costs of NOK 332 million and other operating expenses of NOK 225 million). This includes costs associated with the current offer process.

Earlier this week, Euronext published the offer document for its previously announced all-cash tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Oslo Bors VPS Holding ASA for NOK 6.24 billion (€625m).

The offer price is NOK 145 per share, representing a 32 % premium on Oslo Børs VPS’s closing price on December 17, 2018 and 34 % on Oslo Børs VPS’s 3-month volume-weighted average share price. Each accepting shareholder will also receive an interest payment on the offer price equal to 6 % per annum, from the date of acceptance until fulfilment of the conditions of the offer.

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