London Stock Exchange Group on Friday posted surging 2015 net profits, and repeated its support for a merger with Deutsche Boerse amid interest from US giant Intercontinental Exchange.
Earnings after taxation soared almost 167 percent to £328 million ($462 million, 425 million euros) last year compared with its performance in 2014, LSEG said in a results statement.
The company, which runs the London and Milan exchanges, added that revenues jumped almost 50 percent to £1.325 billion. Operating profit meanwhile rallied 73 percent to £404 million.
"The group has produced another strong financial performance and continues to make excellent progress executing our strategy to be a leader in global markets infrastructure," said chief executive Xavier Rolet.
Last week, the LSEG had revealed it was in merger talks with Deutsche Boerse, which manages the Frankfurt stock exchange.
"We have recently confirmed that we are in detailed discussions with Deutsche Boerse regarding a potential merger of equals," added Frenchman Rolet.
"This represents a compelling opportunity to strengthen each other in an industry-defining combination, by creating a global market infrastructure group with significant benefits for our customers and shareholders."
Deutsche Boerse now has until March 22 to launch a formal offer, pending shareholder approval and the green light from regulators.
However on Tuesday, global markets operator Intercontinental Exchange revealed that it was mulling an offer, raising the prospect of a bidding war.
If the merger goes ahead, Deutsche Boerse shareholders would have the upper hand with 54.4 percent of the new holding company's capital, with LSEG investors having 45.6 percent.
Both the London and Frankfurt financial markets would continue doing business under their respective current brand names.