Aug 1, 2019

Barclays vows to hit targets after ‘challenging’ quarter 

Revenues from fixed income trading were 25 per cent higher than a year ago, helping offset a weaker performance in equities trading, which was down 14 per cent. Overall, second-quarter revenues at the bank's markets business were 8 per cent higher than a year ago, compared with an average 8 per cent drop at US rivals. Barclays posted the stronger-than-expected trading results as it reported second-quarter profits that fell by 16 per cent compared to a year ago, albeit in line with analyst forecasts. Barclays said it now expected to reduce annual costs for 2019 to below £13.6bn, compared to its previous guidance for operating expenses in the range of £13.6bn to £13.9bn. Barclays said that its return on equity - a key measure of profitability - was 9.4 per cent in the first half of the year, reflecting declining profitability across its different businesses. The bank is targeting returns of more than 9 per cent for the full year, which look increasingly tough to achieve given that profitability tends to be lower in the second half of the year.

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