Barclays says profits jump 29 percent in first quarter

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British bank Barclays announced Friday that its net profit soared 29 percent in the first quarter of 2010, boosted by falling bad debts and signs of economic recovery.

Net earnings rose to 1.07 billion pounds (1.24 billion euros, 1.64 billion dollars) in the three months to March from 826 million pounds in the same period of 2009, Barclays said.

Pre-tax profit jumped 47 percent to 1.82 billion pounds, with revenues up four percent to 8.07 billion pounds.

Impairment charges and other credit provisions tumbled 35 percent to 1.51 billion pounds.

"I am pleased with the strong growth in profits which we have delivered this quarter," chief executive John Varley said.

"Diversification of our business and risk, and good underlying performance, have combined to produce this result," he said.

"The improvement that we have seen in impairment (levels) reflects the signs of economic recovery now evident in many of the markets in which we operate."

© 2010 AFP

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