Trading firms the London Stock Exchange and ICAP reported differing fortunes on Wednesday as the exchange posted first half profit up 48 percent while the broker's earnings fell 6 percent.

The LSE's fledgling clearing business was the stellar performer in the first half of the year pushing the British exchange group's earning per share to 47.6 pence, compared with 32.2 pence last year.

The LSE said interest drawn from loans to clients through its clearing business rose 225 percent to 54.3 million pounds in the six months to the end of September, driving profit up 38 percent to 214.3 million pounds and income up 20 percent to 386.5 million.

Key highlights include a very good performance from post trade, an area we highlighted in 2009 as a core focus for us and which is now making a significant contribution to both Group revenue and growth, said LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet in an emailed statement.

In contrast, ICAP, which matches buyers and sellers in the bond and swap markets, said first half earnings fell to 19.6 pence a share, blaming bank cutbacks caused by the euro zone debt crisis.

The broker's revenue was flat at 867 million pounds and adjusted profit rose 2 percent to 186 million.

As the banks approach the end of their financial year they are reducing their appetite for risk. This has resulted in activity in our voice business in October and November to date being disappointing, but not surprising, ICAP chief executive Michael Spencer said on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Luke Jeffs; Editing by Erica Billingham and David Cowell)