HSBC pre-tax profit up 4.58% at $10.7 bn in first half

Hong Kong (AFP) –


Banking giant HSBC said on Monday that pre-tax profit rose 4.58 percent to $10.7 billion in the first six months of the year and voiced "cautious optimism" despite the China-US trade row.

After wide-ranging cutbacks that saw 50,000 jobs axed in an overhaul announced in 2015, the bank said it was now hiring "more frontline staff" in its strongest businesses as it seeks new growth.

"We are investing to win new customers, increase our market share, and lay the foundations for consistent growth in profits and returns," said CEO John Flint.

The results met analysts' expectations as they predicted the bank would turn around its bottom line.

Revenues were also up four percent at $27.3 billion.

However, adjusted profit before tax of $12.1bn was down two percent and revenues were tempered by a rise of seven percent in operating expenses to $17.5 billion, which the bank said reflected investments in digital capabilities.