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Barclays posts 47% pre-tax profit increase in first quarter

Barclays Bank has seen an increase of 47 per cent in pre-tax profit during the first quarter of 2010.

Figures from the financial services provider showed a group profit of £1.8 billion for the period, up from the £581 million seen in the same three months in 2009.

The bank cited a “significant reduction” of 35 per cent in the rate of impairment payments from £2.3 billion to £1.5 billion as a positive indicator for the period.

Earnings per share rose 35 per cent to 9.3 pence while underlying profit before tax increased by 90 per cent to £1.8 billion.

John Varley, Barclays chief executive, said: “I am pleased with the strong growth in profits which we have delivered this quarter. Diversification of our business and risk, and good underlying performance have combined to produce this result.

“The improvement that we have seen in impairment reflects the signs of economic recovery now evident in many of the markets in which we operate.”

Further findings from the bank revealed that pre-tax profit at Barclays Capital increased by nearly two-thirds to reach £1.47 billion when compared with figures from the same period last year.

By Jim Ottewill