By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) -The war in Ukraine is hitting London Stock Exchange Group revenue, but the bourse said it remained on track to meet financial targets from integrating its $27 billion takeover of data and analytics company Refinitiv.
LSEG said first quarter total income was up 6.3% with good growth across all divisions, and up 6.8% after adjusting for actions taken by the group in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which led to the exchange stopping trading in its Russian listings.
The exchange also suspended all products and services for customers in Russia, and halted the distribution of news and commentary in the country.
Analysts at Citi said gross profit of 1.6 billion pounds was in line with the bank's estimate in what was "overall a solid set of results".
"At a group level Russia/Ukraine revenue attrition is estimated to be about 60 million pounds in 2022, the vast majority of which is to be realised in data & analytics," Citi said.
LSEG bought Refinitiv in January 2021, transforming the exchange into a major data player, but the move raised concerns among investors that it had bitten off more than it could chew, particularly after outages.
Since then nerves have steadied as LSEG made progress in integrating the new company and meeting savings targets, though its shares, down 2.5% at 0750 GMT, are still below pre-acqusition levels.
LSEG said on Wednesday that 25 million pounds ($31 million) in "run rate" revenue synergies had been achieved by the end of March and said it was "on track to meet all financial targets".
"Our ability to invest for growth, make strategic acquisitions and return capital to shareholders demonstrates the strength of the Group and its high-quality recurring revenues," LSEG Chief Executive David Schwimmer said in a statement.
"The group is well positioned and we look forward to further progress during the rest of 2022," he added.
LSEG said a significant proportion of net proceeds from its $1.1 billion divestment of its wealth back office unit BETA+ will be returned to shareholders via a share buyback, which is likely to start in the third quarter of this year.
LSEG distributes news and commentary from Reuters as part of its products. Thomson Reuters, the parent of Reuters News, holds a minority stake in the LSE after the exchange bought Refinitiv from it.
($1 = 0.7946 pounds)
(Additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans)