London: Global banking major HSBC Tuesday reported 26 percent growth in underlying profit at USD 6.78 billion in the three months period ended March 2012, boosted by robust performance in emerging markets.
Excluding charge and the impacts of acquisitions and sales, underlying profit before tax (PBT) increased to USD 6.78 billion from USD 5.41 billion a year earlier, the banking major said.
The UK-based lender posted a total operating income of USD 20.44 billion in the 2012 March quarter.
"We have had a good start to the year. Reported PBT for the quarter was USD 0.6 billion down compared with Q1 2011 but underlying PBT increased by USD 1.4 billionn, driven by increased revenues in Global Banking and Markets and Commercial Banking.
"We also increased Retail Banking and Wealth Management revenue in faster-growing regions," HSBC Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said in a statement.
HSBC said net profit attributable to shareholders fell to USD 2.58 billion from USD 4.15 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
This was mainly due to an accounting charge on the value of the bank's debt.
Impairments were flat on the year-on year at USD 2.37 billion, while it was down from the preceding quarter.
In the Asia Pacific region, HSBC's profit before tax rose to USD 2.02 billion in the quarter under review from USD 1.63 billion in the year-ago period. Besides, PBT surged by 21 percent in Hong Kong and 11 percent in Latin America.
HSBC's revenue rose strongly in faster-growing regions, notably in Latin America, Hong Kong and Rest of Asia-Pacific, which were up by 7 percent, 16 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
"We continue to anticipate a soft landing for mainland China and expect India and Brazil to continue to exhibit strong growth. Deposit spreads widened compared with 1Q11 following interest rate rises in 2011, most notably in mainland China and India," Gulliver said.
Markets remain volatile with high levels of debt and regulatory and political uncertainty in developed economies, contrasting with an encouraging outlook in faster-growing markets, he said.
"... We continued to position the business for growth with increased revenues in Hong Kong, Latin America and Rest of Asia-Pacific against the previous quarter.
"We also continued to reduce costs, recording USD 0.3 billion of sustainable cost savings in 1Q12, which takes the total annualised savings achieved to USD 2 billion," Gulliver added.
First Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 22:29