NYSE Euronext, which wants regulatory support for its planned $9 billion merger with Deutsche Boerse, cited strong trading and technology sales for a 54 percent hike in quarterly profit to $186 million.

The exchange said Thursday derivatives trading net income was up 38 percent to $129 million, share trading rose 54 percent to $155 million while data and systems sales improved 29 percent to $31 million.

NYSE Group total revenue was up 20 percent to $1.3 billion, compared with the same period last year, while operating expenses fell 1 percent to $416 million.

"Our strong third-quarter results benefited from unseasonably strong trading volumes," said NYSE Euronext Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer.

"Non trading-related net revenue was up $30 million year-over-year, driven by growth in our technology services businesses and the increasing momentum we are experiencing in our global listings franchise," Niederauer added.

The results came as the transatlantic exchange group continues its talks with the European competition authorities in the hope of convincing them to back its planned merger with German operator.

"We are moving forward with our merger with Deutsche Boerse and have just recently conducted a hearing before the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission," said Niederauer.

The NYSE chief is set to meet European Union antitrust regulators again on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse have until Nov. 17 to offer concessions, such as opening up to rivals or selling parts of their business, and the EU has pledged to make public its final decision on the deal by Dec. 22.

(Editing by David Holmes)