* Says will hit 60 mln euro savings target in H1 2015
* Q3 adjusted operating profit up 20 pct
* Listings revenue up almost 18 percent
* Shares edge higher (Adds detail, share price, CEO comment)
By Clare Hutchison
LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Euronext’s cost-cutting programme is running 18 months ahead of schedule, the exchange group said on Thursday as it reported a 10 percent rise in third-quarter revenue, helped by healthy listing activity.
Hit by a sharp drop in trading volumes in recent years, the company has been battling with competitors such as BATS Chi-X Europe to preserve its European market share and has focused on keeping tight control of costs.
The operator of the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon bourses said that it has made savings of 30 million euros ($37.5 million) and would reach its target of 60 million euros by the first half of next year, rather than the end of 2016 as originally envisaged.
Chief Executive Dominique Cerutti said the company is looking at where further cuts could be made and will announce a new target once that process is completed.
He said the fresh cuts are likely to be more “transformational” for the business, without giving details on where the axe might fall.
Shares in Euronext, which was spun off from parent Intercontinental Exchange in June, were slightly higher at 20.72 euros by 0945 GMT. The stock has risen more than 6 percent since its market debut.
The group said that third-party revenue - adjusted to take into account a change in a derivatives clearing agreement with LCH.Clearnet - was 112.3 million euros, compared with 101.9 million euros a year earlier.
Operating profit before exceptional items in the three months to Sept. 30 was 50 million euros, up 19.9 pct on an adjusted basis.
Growth came from listings, where revenue was up almost 18 percent to 13.2 million euros.
Total capital raised jumped to 1.7 billion euros, against 46 million euros a year earlier, thanks to the initial public offering (IPO) of NN Group. That placed Euronext second in Europe in terms of total capital raised and fifth globally, Cerutti said.
Cerutti said he was not concerned about recent wobbles in the IPO market.
“We are not upset. The pipeline remains very strong. I am confident that this year will be the best year in the past six or seven years,” he told reporters on a conference call.
“We see the discussions we have with hundreds of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), for instance, that are telling us they will access capital markets in the next few years.”
Euronext was also boosted by a near-16 percent rise in cash-trading turnover. A change to fees that triggered a higher average fee per trade helped to drive the increase, it said.
Market data and indices, which account for 20 percent of the group’s total revenue, lifted revenue by 14.8 percent as licensed products to Euronext indices increased significantly and clients snapped up derivatives data.
Derivatives achieved more modest growth, with revenue up 3 percent.
Low volatility kept trading volumes of financial derivatives lower, though geopolitical turbulence provided a boost early in the quarter. That was offset by strong activity in commodities, which were up 27 percent year on year.
Euronext has made the development of its derivatives business a major priority. It has recently expanded its rapeseed contracts and is now targeting other markets. (1 US dollar = 0.7996 euro) (Editing by David Goodman)