Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

HSBC Set for Huge Profits of Pounds 9bn

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

HSBC Set for Huge Profits of Pounds 9bn

Article excerpt

Banking giant HSBC appears to be on course for annual profits well in excess of pounds 9bn after its half-year figures set a European record.

The global banking group accumulated interim profits before one-off items of $10.25 (pounds 5.62bn), a 49pc rise fuelled by the acquisition of US-based consumer finance business Household in 2003.

The bottom-line figure rose 53pc to pounds 9.37bn (pounds 5.14bn).

With analysts already prepared for underlying profits of more than pounds 9bn in 2004, the stronger-than-expected results sent HSBC shares up by more than 3pc to 836p.

The showing in the first six months of 2004 even bettered the oil-price inflated returns of energy giants BP and Shell last week.

On top of HSBC's performance, further strong half-year figures from Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays later this week are expected to add to the ongoing debate about the level of profits achieved by UK banks.

Group chairman Sir John Bond described the figures as a "solid performance", reflecting revenues growth and a disciplined management of costs. …

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