While pre-tax profit was up 4.58% to $10.712 billion in the six months to June 30, from $10.243 billion during the same period last year, the adjusted figure, which discounts distorting factors such as exchange-rate movements, fell by 1.82% to $12.139 billion from $12.364 billion during the first half of last year.
Earnings per share rose from 35 cents in the first half of last year to 36 cents, and the interim dividend will be unchanged at 31 cents a share.
“Increase our market share”
On the day of the announcement stock fell initially by 0.8% to 710p, but later picked up in morning trading in London to 712.70p.
Revenue was 4% higher than in the first half of 2017, at $27.3 billion, while the adjusted revenue figure was 2% higher at $27.5 billion.
He added: “We are investing to win new customers, increase our market share, and lay the foundations for consistent growth in profits and returns.”
In HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management division, adjusted pre-tax profit rose from $3.137 billion in the first half of 2017 to $3.630 billion during the first six months of this year. Its commercial banking arm lifted adjusted profit from $3.373 billion last time to $4.111 billion, while “global banking and markets”, which provides financial services and products to companies, governments, and institutions, increased adjusted profit from $2.387 billion in the first half of last year to $3.568 billion in the first six months of 2018.
Asia dominates profit picture
HSBC’s global private banking division lifted adjusted profit from $152 million in the first half of last year to $190 million this time. HSBC’s corporate centre, including the treasury department, which invests on the bank’s behalf, manages its balance sheet, and HSBC’s interests in associated companies – increased adjusted profit from $76 million in the first half of 2017 to $640 million during the same period this year.
Pre-tax profit from the Middle East and North Africa rose from $804 million in the first half of last year to $836 million, accounting for 7.8% of all profits, but the equivalent figures for North America showed a drop from $953 million to $42 million, accounting for 0.4% of HSBC’s profits.
In Latin America, pre-tax profit rose from $284 million in the first half of last year to $344 million in the first half of this year, accounting for 3.2% of all profit.
Mr Flint added: “HSBC is a strong business with a number of clear commercial advantages. In particular, we are a leading international bank with a network that gives us unparalleled access to high-growth markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.”
He said: “It is now time to realise the potential of the group.”