- Barclays reports increased profits in the third quarter of 2018, with trading and investment banking performing particularly strongly.
- Pre-tax profits climbed 32% to £1.46 billion, the bank said, up significantly from the £1.1 billion profit reported in the same period last year.
- Much of this outperformance was down to the bank’s under-fire trading and investment banking arms, with markets trading revenues increasing 19% to £1.2 billion.
- The results will buoy the bank’s management which is facing pressure from activist investor Edward Bramson over the investment banking unit.
Barclays produced an unexpectedly strong set of results in the third quarter of 2018, boosted by an impressive performance from the British bank’s trading arm.
Overall, Barclays reported a net third-quarter profit of £1 billion, well above market expectations, and above the £583 million profit made in the same period last financial year. Pre-tax profits climbed 32% to £1.46 billion, the bank said.
Much of this outperformance was down to the bank’s under-fire trading and investment banking arms, with markets trading revenues increasing 19% to £1.2 billion. Bond, currency and commodity trading revenues increased from £627 million to £688 million.
“During the third quarter our corporate and investment bank outperformed peers again in markets, with a 19 per cent increase in income,” Barclays CEO Jes Staley said in a statement alongside the results.
The results will buoy the bank’s management which is facing pressure from activist investor Edward Bramson over the investment banking unit.
Bramson wants to shut almost all trading activity at Barclays’ investment bank as part of plans to cut costs and boost returns.
While overall profits at the bank increased, total revenues dropped a little, falling from £5.17 billion in Q3 last year, to £5.13 billion this year.
“A jump in profits at Barclays can be largely put down to a lower level of bad loans, stemming from improved economic forecasts, stronger sterling, and some one-off adjustments,” Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at FTSE 100 investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown said.
“That’s all well and good, but it’s doesn’t give investors a great deal to hang hopes on in terms of profitability going forward.”
Barclays shares are broadly flat on Wednesday, trading higher by just 0.36% as of 9.05 a.m. BST (4.05 a.m. ET).
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