Swiss exchange operator SIX posts $1.15 billion loss on impairments

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Written By Pinang Driod

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss stock exchange operator SIX reported a loss of 1.01 billion Swiss francs ($1.15 billion) in 2023, after it booked two previously flagged non-cash impairments.

The group had said in December it would book a value adjustment of around 860 million Swiss francs on its 10.5% stake in Worldline reflecting a decline in the payments provider’s share price.

It had also flagged a non-cash charge of about 340 million francs in relation to an impairment of goodwill attributed to the BME Group stemming from increased discount rates and lower trading volumes.

Without these, SIX would have reported a profit of 181 million francs, it said, versus 185 million a year earlier.

“Unfortunately, the strong operating result was affected by two major non-cash value adjustments,” CEO Jos Dijsselhof said in a statement.

“We are confident about our future growth, consistent financial performance, and ability to generate strong returns for our shareholders.”

SIX said it would increase its dividend by 2% to 5.20 Swiss francs per share for the around 120 financial institutions, including UBS which are its shareholders, for a payout of 101.5 million francs.

It also suggested an openness to doing M&A and said bolt-on acquisitions as well as partnering opportunities would further strengthen its portfolio.

“We are constantly reviewing M&A opportunities in all four of our business areas,” CFO Daniel Schmucki told Reuters.

“Globally, opportunities are more obvious in the Financial Information division than in the stock exchange business.”

In January Reuters reported that SIX was mulling a bid for fund distribution company Allfunds citing two sources with knowledge of the situation.

($1 = 0.8781 Swiss francs)

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