Standard Chartered shares rise despite fall in profits

Shares in Standard Chartered rose by three per cent this morning, despite first half pre-tax profits falling more than 15 per cent to and basic earnings per share falling by more than a quarter (release).

Compared to the same period the year before, the bank’s pre-tax profits fell to $3.325bn (£2.17bn) from $3,936, while earnings per share fell to 88.1 cents from 117.6 cents. The bank put this partly down to the write-down of goodwill in respect of its Korean business – an area that chief executive Peter Sands said has proven a “huge challenge”, but also an opportunity.

Surprisingly, these were not the figures the bank chose to run with in its opening pages. The bank reported its profits before taxation, goodwill and its own credit adjustment increased four per cent to $4.09bn. The board also declared an interim dividend of 28.80 cents per share – an increase of six per cent.

Other significant highlights for the bank include pre-tax profits in Hong Kong surpassing $1bn for the first time and double digit growth in 17 of its markets.

Chairman Sir John Peace said:

These results demonstrate the diversity and resilience of our business. Despite a difficult external environment, we continue to support our clients' growth aspirations. We have a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity. Income in both businesses accelerated in the second quarter and we have entered the second half of the year with good momentum. The Board remains confident for the long term.

Going into the second half of the year, Sands said the bank will be concentrating on managing costs and investing with prudence.

Whilst we are clearly not tracking to a double-digit income performance for 2013 - and will not compromise our standards to achieve this - we are still expecting to grow our business at a good rate this year, and remain confident in the potential of our strategy and in the growth of our markets.