Nairobi Securities Exchange Plc's net earnings for full year ended December 31 rose 17.56 per cent largely on increased commissions from trading activities and cost management measures, the self-listed firm announced on Monday.
The firm's profit stood at Ksh216.25 million ($2.1 million) compared with Ksh183.96 million ($1.9 million) in 2016.
Earnings from trading activities climbed 10.47 per cent to Ksh582.34 million ($5.8 million), helping grow total income to Ksh757.03 million ($7.5 million) in 2017 from Ksh717.19 million ($7.1 million) a year earlier.
"This performance was as a result of improved trading in the bond and equity markets which registered a growth of one per cent and 17 per cent, respectively," NSE said in an audited financial statement.
"The Group also prudently managed its costs during the year through optimisation and automation of its processes."
Operating costs edged up a marginal 2.64 per cent to Ksh500.17 million ($5 million), resulting in an improved cost to income ratio – a measure of operational efficiency – of 66 per cent from 68 per cent in 2016.
The stock market in 2017 rebounded from a two-year bear run, which started around March 2015, to grow by 16.5 per cent year-year as measured by the indicative NSE-20 Share Index, which tracks performance of blue chips.
The growth, which shrugged off impact of a biting drought in the first half and prolonged electioneering period in second half, was largely helped by recovery in banking stocks on expectations of a review of the September 2016 interest controls law.
The NSE directors have recommended a first and final dividend payout of Ksh0.30 per share, a slight increment from Ksh0.27 last year, subject to approval at an annual general meeting slated for May 30.