Barclays Says U.K. Retail Bank Profits Rise

Thursday, 24 May 2007 | 8:41 AM ET

Barclays, which has agreed to buy Dutch rival ABN Amro in the biggest ever bank takeover, said on Thursday it had made a strong start to 2007 and it had seen "good growth" in U.K. retail bank profit.

Barclays Sees Strong Start
Barclays stated it had "a strong start to the year" and confirmed previously released first-quarter results. Chris Wheeler, Senior Managing Director in Equity Research at Bear Stearns, has analysis with CNBC's Geoff Cutmore.

Britain's third biggest bank said in a trading update that its market share of new UK mortgages had improved, it was on track to improve its UK banking cost/income ratio this year and the bad debt charge for its Barclaycard unit had fallen.

Barclays confirmed earlier comments that pretax profit in the first quarter was 15% above a year earlier, and rose 10% excluding property gains, and Barclays Capital had its best quarter ever.

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