HSBC profits rise by 1 billion


HSBC Holdings has announced an 18 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to $12.5 billion (£6.7 billion), with group revenues increasing across its worldwide bases.

Today's first-half results from the London-based bank, which has more than 9,500 offices across 76 countries, reveal that its profits rose by more than $2 billion compared to last year's corresponding value of $10.6 billion (£5.7 billion).

The group's operating income similarly rose 15 per cent to $34.3 billion (£18.4 billion), while shareholder profits and earnings per share rose by 15 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Stephen Green, HSBC's chairman, said: "In the first half of the year, HSBC achieved strong revenue growth in new business streams in which we have invested and also in our emerging markets businesses generally. At the same time, our businesses in the mature economies continued to perform well."

However, the bank's cost efficiency fell by one percentage point to 50 per cent, with Mr Green attributing the drop to the completion of the "major investment phase" of the corporate, investment banking and markets strategy.

The total value of HSBC's assets has increased 16 per cent to $1,738 billion (£932 billion) since the last half-year results on December 31st 2005.

The UK's major banking groups are set to announce financial results over the next two weeks, with similar high gains expected.

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