Barclays enjoy rise in profits

British bank Barclays announced an unexpected 12% rise in first half pre-tax profits, to £1.9bn (€2.6bn) today, and said it had cut provisions against bad debts by 9%.

British bank Barclays announced an unexpected 12% rise in first half pre-tax profits, to £1.9bn (€2.6bn) today, and said it had cut provisions against bad debts by 9%.

Britain’s third biggest bank said higher earnings from the consumer lending boom in loans and credit cards had boosted the bottom line, along with its investment banking and asset management operations.

Chief executive Matthew Barrett said Barclays had seen “good revenue growth, tight cost discipline and prudent risk management.”

But Barclays added that while the remainder of 2003 still had its uncertainties, the outlook was generally more stable than at the start of the year.

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