London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE) reported good first half results, with 26 percent rise in earnings driven by its increasingly diversified international exchange business. The group lifted its interim dividend by 5 percent to 8.8 pence.

Activity on the primary markets picked up with a more than doubling of the total number of new issues, with 18 billion pounds of capital raised, including 19 international companies joining its markets in the period and a more than trebling of new companies joining AIM, the group said.

In the primary markets, LSE said the pipeline for IPOs is promising with some notable new listings in recent weeks.

Although market conditions are likely to remain mixed, we nonetheless expect to make further progress in the second half of the year, group chief executive Xavier Rolet said.

For the half year ended Sept. 30, the group's pretax profit increased to 100.2 million pounds ($159.2 million) from 79.4 million pounds.

Revenue fell 1 percent to 297.9 million pounds from 301.2 million due to reductions in cash equities and UK derivatives trading operations arising from variable market conditions and competitive pressures, it said.

LSE also confirmed that it will be launching equity derivatives trading on Turquoise cross-border share trading platform in the second quarter 2011.

Shares of LSE are trading 0.91 percent higher at 723.50 pence at 08:22 am GMT on Thursday.