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Barclays pre-tax profits up 15 per cent

Barclays has posted pre-tax profits of £1.37bn in the first quarter, up 15 per cent from £1.19bn from the same period last year.

Its global retail and commercial banking profit before tax fell 45 per cent from £1.07bn to £586m.

But investment banking and investment management pre-tax profit jumped from £365m to £1.05bn, an increase of almost 190 per cent.

Barclays says it intends to pay cash dividends in the fourth quarter of 2009, with a final payment for the year to be declared and paid in Q1 2010.

It warns that due to economic conditions the proportion of profits after tax paid through dividends will be “significantly lower” than the 50 per cent level that it says has been the norm in recent years.

Group chief executive John Varley says: “We generated strong income growth across most business lines driven by the investments we have made in expanding our international network and in buying Lehman.

“This, together with good cost control, has enabled us to shield the anticipated increase in impairment and absorb further credit market writedowns on legacy assets. We recognise the importance of continued capital generation and we remain committed to prioritising returns over growth and to reducing leverage.”

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