Euronext is following a lead set by its European rivals. Deutsche Börse conducted a share buyback last year, and the London Stock Exchange has promised a 200p per share cash return to its shareholders later this year.
Alongside the announcement of the dividend and buyback scheme, Euronext also reported revenues of €962 million, of which €332 million came from derivatives trading. The strongest growth was in interest rate products (11%), and in short sterling futures (33%) and options (56%).
The exchange will pay a dividend of €1 per share in May and an additional dividend of €3 a share in July. It also plans a €500 million share buyback scheme, which will run into 2007.