HSBC had a surprisingly good quarter

LONDON — HSBC posted a 12% hike in adjusted pre-tax profit for the first three months of 2017, beating analysts’ expectations.

“Our cost-saving programme remains on track to hit the higher cost-saving target we announced at our annual results,” CEO Stuart Gulliver said in a statement published on Thursday.

Profit, after discounting one-off items, increased to $US5.94 billion (£4.6 billion) while revenue rose 2% to $US12.8 billion.

Analysts had forecasted a 9% revenue drop, according to Bloomberg News.

“Global Banking and Markets had a strong quarter, with large adjusted revenue increases in the majority of businesses compared with the same period last year,” Gulliver said.

“Retail Banking and Wealth Management also performed well, supported by rising interest rates, renewed customer investment appetite, the impact of market movements on our life insurance manufacturing business, and strong wealth product and insurance sales across all categories,” he said.

HSBC is in the process of changing its leadership. In March, the lender named Mark Tucker as the new group’s chairman, taking up the position when Douglas Flint steps down on October 1 this year.

Tucker, who is the CEO and president of the insurer AIA, will also be tasked with finding a successor to replace HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver by 2018.

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