Getco Europe Profits Continue to Slide

As reported by FT’s Philip Stafford, profits in the European division of Getco, the US-based high-frequency trading firm, fell for a second successive year in a sign of the challenges facing the group in difficult trading conditions.

Getco Europe reported post-tax profits of $49.3m for the year to December 31 2010, a 6% fall on the previous period, according to accounts filed with Companies House at the end of last month. Its trading revenues fell 5% to $219m.

The accounts show the firm’s total wage bill fell 19% to $7m, while the average number of staff employed rose by 10 to 42. In a sign of the firm’s continued ability to generate above-average profits, its revenues per employee in 2010 was $5.2m. The same revenue ratio would give Goldman Sachs annual revenues of about $186bn, compared with its actual revenues of $39bn last year.

In a statement accompanying the accounts, Getco Europe’s directors said the firm had suffered from tough trading conditions in the wake of the financial crisis.

The statement read: “The major challenge facing the company is a stubborn growth in trading volumes due to the global recession and slower adoption rate by market venues of electronic trading and economic barriers to high volume trading.”

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