Barclays profits down seven per cent as investment business hit

Billy Ehrenberg
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Barclays has released underwhelming half-yearly results (Source: Getty)

The sun may be out, but there is no escaping the gloom for Barclays which released its first half results this morning.

The headline figures make grim reading: a seven per cent drop in pre-tax profit during the first half of the year a figure swollen by the 46 per cent decline in profit before tax coming from its investment banking business.

What is more, Barclays has had to put aside a further £900m to pay back customers who were missold payment protection insurance.

Yesterday, Deutsche Bank equalled revenues from quarter two 2013, continuing a trend started on Wall Street for investment banks to do slightly better than the low expectations they had been set. Barclays fell below this bar.

The bad results are a result of a repositioning, according to chief executive Antony Jenkins:

Performance in the investment bank was impacted by the repositioning underway as well as difficult trading conditions in the quarter, but it is where we expected it to be at this point.

This repositioning has included the cutting of 7,000 jobs and the creation of a "bad bank".

Although the results don't look great at first glance they are nevertheless ahead of market expectations. Raul Sinha of JP Morgan said:

Barclays Q2 results were ahead of our above-consensus expectations, with clean profit before tax three per cent ahead of JPM expectations and 13 per cent ahead of consensus.

Progress in non-core asset reduction was ahead of expectations, with risk-weighted assets down to £87bn ahead of our expectations of £100bn. We think that the group is well positioned to beat its non-core guidance of £80bn 2014.

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