Dear Fellow Shareholders:
I’m pleased to report to you on the record results we achieved in 2014; extending our track record of record revenue and adjusted earnings in each of our nine years as a public company. In a year marked by ongoing regulatory uncertainty and muted volatility in certain of our asset classes, our team at Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) delivered double-digit earnings growth and successfully executed an ambitious rangeof operational and strategic objectives. Importantly, we continued to anticipate our customers’ evolving needs and diversify our business to drive innovation and long-term growth.
For 2014, consolidated revenues, less transaction based expenses, were a record $3.1 billion. Adjusted income attributable to ICE from continuing operations increased to $1.1 billion and operating cash flow more than doubled to $1.5 billion. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations grew 15% over the prior year to $9.63. With the $1.9 billion we raised in the Euronext IPO, we were able to return nearly $1 billion to shareholders via dividends and share buybacks, reduce our net debt by $2 billion and invest more than $500 million in strategic acquisitions.
We met key NYSE integration milestones on or ahead of schedule, with over half of our $550 million expense synergy target realized in the first full year after completing the NYSE transaction. We seamlessly integrated our futures exchanges across multiple asset classes and accelerated the realization of expense synergies. At the same time we were able to complete four acquisitions that expanded our operations in Asia and Europe and deepened our core risk management, data and listings capabilities.
During the year, our team worked quickly to streamline and enhance our acquired businesses. With the successful IPO of Euronext and divestiture of certain NYSE Technologies operations, we turned our focus to areas of opportunity that support our growth objectives. We launched new interest rate and equity derivatives products to expand our leading financial product complex. Leveraging our license of Eris’s credit default swap (CDS) and interest rate swap products, we began working with the industry to develop a of swap futures contracts.
We continued to innovate by introducing nearly 120 new products across our global exchanges, clearing houses and-trade operations. We also expanded our data services operations, including the development of ICE Benchmark to administer a growing range of price benchmarks. Our team developed a robust mechanism to administer LIBOR, as well as the ISDAfix rates and, in 2015, the LBMA Gold Price. The acquisition of SuperDerivatives expands our risk management and pricing capabilities across a wide range of financial products including interest rate swaps, while strengthening our range of data products and desktop delivery capabilities.
ICE has always been a globally diverse company, and in 2014 we continued to expand our footprint to invest in regions our customers are increasingly. Through ICE Futures Singapore, ICE Clear Singapore, the Holland Clearing House, and our long-established infrastructure in the U.S., U.K., Continental Europe, Brazil and Canada, we have the flexibility to serve global markets as evolving financial reform continues to influence our customers’ preferences on where they do business.
2014 marked the fourth consecutive year that the New York Stock Exchange led in listings with 129 IPOs raising $70 billion. These included 32 technology IPOs, the successful execution of the largest IPO in history -- Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), the largest REIT, and the largest MLP partnership. We recognize the vital role of a well-functioning U.S. market structure for issuers and investors alike and are providing leadership in advocating for changes that will simplify markets. We are in the midst of a once in a generation opportunity to improve these markets and have demonstrated a willingness to take unilateral steps to reduce complexity and improve investor confidence in the U.S. equity markets.
Benchmark Products Across all Major Asset Classes
Equity Derivatives and FX
Cash Equities and Listings
Serving Our Customers
2014 was a year of integration where we continued to meet our key financial and strategic objectives. 2015 will be a year of executing on the opportunities that market evolution is creating by capitalizing on our leading global network to drive continued innovation to better serve our customers. This is the same approach we took when the company was formed in the year 2000. Our team remains driven by the evolving challenges that allow us to serve the global markets with transformative solutions. Our culture is one that puts the needs of our customers at the center of what we do each day; and by serving our customers, we are serving our shareholders. Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to reporting on our progress in the coming year.
Jeffrey C. Sprecher
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Intercontinental Exchange
Chairman, New York Stock Exchange
March 30, 2015