Barclays posts 15% rise in pre-tax profits

8 May 2009

UK banking group Barclays has recorded a 15 per cent rise in its first quarter profits along with record income, it has been announced.

The bank said profits before tax for the three months to March 31st was £178 million ($269 million) higher than it was in the corresponding period of 2008 at £1,372 million.

Over the same period, income rose by £2,427 million - or 42 per cent - to a high of £8,150 million. Barclays said the rise was mostly driven by "very strong performances" from its Barclays Capital division and most of the international businesses in its Global Retail and Commercial Banking arm.

First quarter costs increased by 37 per cent on 2008 to hit £4,461 million, reflecting increased expenses and last year's acquisition of Lehman Brothers' North American investment banking and capital markets operations.

Barclays Q1 results also included net losses from credit market writedowns of £2,152 million.

John Varely, Barclays Group chief executive, said: "We recognise the importance of continued capital generation and we remain committed to prioritising returns over growth and to reducing leverage."

Over the first quarter, Barclays' costs to income ratio was 55 per cent and diluted earnings per share stood at 7.6 pence.

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