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Barclays profits crunched by credit crisis

First quarter profits at Barclays have been hit by the credit crunch, the firm has suggested.

Chief executive of the bank John Varley said that the revenue was "well below" last year's figures at both Barclays Capital and Barclays Global Investors.

He cited the current volatility in the global financial markets - which has been primarily caused by the crunch - as a factor in the slowdown.

"We were profitable in March as well, but trading conditions were tougher, meaning that group profit for the first quarter was below that of the very strong prior year period," Mr Varley added.

The comments were made in the run-up to the firm's annual general meeting, which takes place in London on Thursday.

City rumors have recently suggested that the UK bank is preparing to announce fresh write-downs of bad debts due to further deterioration in the money markets.

Barclays lost over $3 billion in devalued assets across 2007.