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2005 PRESS RELEASES

 

PRESS RELEASE


BORSA ITALIANA GROUP*: 2004 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Net profit: 25.4 million Euro (19.6 in 2003, +29.8%)
Revenues: 195.4 million Euro (180.2 in 2003, +8.4%)

BORSA ITALIANA SPA: 2004 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Net profit: 31.8 million Euro (23.4 in 2003, +35.9%)
Revenues: 117.8 million Euro (123.8 in 2003, -4.8%)
Proposed dividend of 1,65 Euro per share

In today's meeting, the Board of Directors of Borsa Italiana Spa examined and approved the draft consolidated and statutory financial statements for 2004.

The 2004 consolidated financial statements closed with profits totalling 25.4 million Euro (19.6 in 2003, +29.8%) and revenues of 195.4 million Euro (180.2 million Euro in 2003, +8.4%).

The financial statements of Borsa Italiana Spa closed with a net profit of 31.8 million Euro (23.4 million Euro in 2003, +35.9%) and revenues for 117.8 million Euro (123.8 million Euro in 2003, -4.8%).

The draft statutory and consolidated financial statements will be submitted to the attention of the Ordinary Shareholders' Meeting convened on 29 April 2005 on first call and on 3 May 2005 on second call, with the proposal to distribute a dividend equal to 1,65 Euro per share, amounting to a pay-out of 84%.

The Borsa Italiana Group*

* Borsa Italiana, BIt Systems, Cassa di Compensazione e Garanzia, Monte Titoli, Piazza Affari Gestione e Servizi

During 2004, revenues of the Borsa Italiana Group amounted to 195.4 million Euro (180.2 in 2003, +8.4%), while net profits equalled 25.4 million Euro (19.6 in 2003, +29.8%).

With an international scenario still characterised by stability in activity levels, the Group's management succeeded in offsetting the unfavourable economic situation through an increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of its activities.

The action, launched in 2003 and aimed at achieving more substantial economies of scale and expanding the series of value added services offered to market players, contributed to lessening the effects of the limited activity level characterising Italian markets, optimising, albeit in a different manner, performance in the various areas of business.

The official launch of the new Express II system by Monte Titoli substantially increased the weight of settlement revenues, which grew to 11.5% of the total, compared to 3.1% in 2003.

Clearing revenues were also up (10.8%, compared to 10.2%), along with the impact of revenues from sales of information services (17.9%, compared to 17.2%).

Revenues from custody activities remained stable (16.1%, compared to 16.2%), while income components linked to listing, which include new listing and annual listing fees, were equal to 11.4% (12.5% in 2003), and those related to trading services amounted to 29.0% (37.1%).

The average number of employees during the year was 381.

Borsa Italiana Spa

During 2004, net profit for Borsa Italiana Spa amounted to 31.8 million Euro (23.4 in 2003, +35.9%), thanks to an increase in proceeds from shareholdings. The value of production totalled 117.8 million Euro (compared to 123.8 in 2003), with revenues from sales and services declining from 122.7 to 116.1 million Euro.

The value of production is broken down into listing activities (which include new listing and annual listing fees for equity instruments, fixed-income instruments, securitised derivatives and Etf) for 22.3 million Euro (22.6 in 2003, -1.3%), trading services related to cash markets for 41.4 million (50.8, -18.5%), trading services related to derivatives markets for 15.3 million (16.1, -5.0%) and the sale of information services for 34.9 million (31.0, +12.6%), as well as other revenues for 3.9 million Euro.

Capitalisation of listed companies (278 in 2004) was up from 487 to 581 billion Euro, increasing from 37.5% to 43.0% of GDP and placing Borsa Italiana at 6th place in Europe in terms of capitalisation of listed domestic companies. Its fourth position in Europe was confirmed as regards share trading on electronic systems, with a daily average of 2.9 billion Euro.

In addition, the Italian market stands out at the European level for its high degree of liquidity with respect to its own shares, as demonstrated by its record in turnover velocity, an indicator that - comparing trading turnover to capitalisation - marks the annual share turnover rate. In fact, in 2004, Italian turnover velocity was equal to 136.6%, earning Borsa Italiana first place, ahead of Stockholm with 111.2%, Deutsche Börse with 104.1%, Helsinki with 103.9% and Madrid with 100.4%.

The activities of the Borsa Italiana Group

Since its privatisation in 2004, activities and projects have focused on consolidating the position of the Group in the Italian financial market but above all, on projecting it into the international market.

Among the most significant activities, mention goes to completion of the integration of the system-market that refers to the Borsa, re-engineering of post-trading with implementation of the Central Counterparty service and the new Express II settlement system, continuous adaptation of the technological platforms to the efficiency levels demanded by brokers, market segmentation to satisfy the various requirements of issuers and the progressive supply of new information distribution services.

Activities during 2004

Throughout 2004, in addition to the normal activities of managing markets, information services and post-trading, important development projects were implemented, with a focus on consolidating the position of the Borsa Italiana Group in the Italian financial market.

Among these was the launch of the new Express II settlement system, managed by Monte Titoli, which since 26 January 2004, has been operative for all financial instruments traded on BIt markets, on MTS and on TLX, along with those traded directly between Italian brokers; thanks to the investments made and to the creation of specific organisational structures, Monte Titoli thus took control of the settlement system that was previously managed by Banca d'Italia, with automated procedures ensuring outstanding levels of efficiency to international standards.

In addition, the CC&G integrated the functions of the Central Counterparty for the stock market, launching, over the course of the year, management of the Contracts Guarantee Fund for trades completed on the TLX market and the central counterparty service for MTS.

Anonymity was extended to share trades of the Stock Market, while a new market segmentation was initiated for securitised derivatives and the trading of futures, minifutures and options on the S&P/MIB index, which successfully replaced those of the Mib30 index, effectively handling the competition by Eurex.

Moreover, the transfer of MOT trades - the electronic bond and government securities market - onto the technological platform of the Electronic Equity Market was carried out and the new Application Services Providing systems aimed at brokers, software vendors and services providers for access to national and international markets was implemented by BIt Systems.

As part of the adaptation process of the Borsa Italiana Group to the reporting standards of listed companies, a decision was made to adopt IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) principles starting from 2005.

For the year underway, despite the uncertainty on the evolution of markets, linked to macroeconomic factors and to the international geo-political situation, the overall revenues and economic results of the Group are expected to remain stable.

Milan, 7 April 2005


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