The London Stock Exchange, which is seeking to merge with its Toronto counterpart, said on Friday that annual net profit soared by nearly 68 percent, helped by rising revenues and global economic recovery. Earnings after taxation leapt to £151.6 million ($247 million, 174 million euros) in the group\'s financial year to the end of March, compared with £90.4 million in 2009/2010, it said in a results statement. Earlier this year, in February, the London Stock Exchange Group launched a merger with TMX Group, which operates the Toronto Stock Exchange. The LSE added that, together with TMX, it has filed for regulatory approval of their merger with the securities regulatory authorities of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. The deal is expected to complete in the autumn. \"We have made good progress over the last year, with improved financial performance and significant steps taken in delivering on our ambition to be, by scale and offering, a world-leading diversified exchange group,\" said Chief Executive Xavier Rolet in the earnings release. Total income swelled by seven percent to £674.9 million pounds over the financial year, added the group which also runs Italy\'s Borsa Italiana. \"The past year saw the cautious return of optimism to the economy and global capital markets,\" Rolet said. \"London remains a world-leading centre for companies seeking to raise capital, both domestically and internationally, and the group retains an enviable franchise in helping issuers access capital and generate liquidity in secondary markets. \"We saw strong growth in the number of new issues and the pipeline across geography, sector and markets remains encouraging.\" The merger would create the world\'s biggest trading platform that would dominate the raw materials and energy sectors, spanning 20 trading markets and platforms across Europe and North America. The combined group, provisionally called LSEG-TMX, would also be the world\'s largest exchange in terms of the number of companies traded, with a total of more than 6,700 listings. \"Over the coming months we will continue to work on achieving the customary shareholder and regulatory approvals with the aim of completing the transaction in the autumn of 2011,\" the group added on Friday.