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April 30, 2010    

Barclays posts 47% rise in Q1 profits

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by Kay Murchie

Banking giant Barclays has today posted a sharp rise in profits for the first quarter of the year.

The bank said profit for the three months to 31 March totalled £1.82 billion - a rise of 47% compared with the same period a year ago.

The rise was boosted by a reduction in bad debts and signs of an economic recovery.

Meanwhile, net earnings grew in the period to £1.07 billion against £826 million in the three month period in 2009.

Chief executive John Varley comments: “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,” he added.

Underlying profit, which strips out gains on acquisition and disposals, surged 90% and the bank said it continued to benefit from its investment banking unit.

Barclays is one of the few banks not to have received any financial help from the Government, opting to go it alone by raising billions from investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi during the financial crisis.

The results come just a few days after Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41% owned by the taxpayer, said it had returned to profit during the first quarter of 2010, as a result of a reduction in bad debt.

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