ICAP Plc , the world's largest interdealer broker, said it was trading in line with market expectations, with a strong performance at its commodities and energy arm helping offset tougher conditions on its credit markets side.

ICAP is on track for a robust performance for the year despite the demanding economic environment, Chief Executive Michael Spencer said in a statement.

We continue to focus on our operational efficiency. In the last three months we have seen an improvement in risk appetite in some markets. We expect to see a slow move towards more normalised markets as the year progresses, he added.

ICAP had said in February it expected profits for the year through March 2012 to be towards the upper end of an analyst forecast range of between 336 million pounds ($536.5 million) and 358 million.

ICAP maintained guidance though the market may have been hoping for a little more, said Richard Perrott, an analyst at Berenberg Bank.

Perrott said ICAP faced challenges from changes in foreign exchange (FX) trading, particularly the trend among banks to match trades themselves rather than use an external venue such a ICAP's EBS.

There are concerns about ICAP's spot FX platform EBS whose market share has halved in the last six years as dealers have internalised flow, said Perrott.

ICAP shares were down 2.9 percent at 0900 GMT compared with a 0.2 percent drop in the FTSE 100 index.

($1 = 0.6263 British pounds)

(Editing by David Holmes)