HSBC bank sets European earnings record

Banking giant HSBC today set a new European record for half-year earnings after profits rose 53% to £5.14bn (€7.8bn) in the first six months of 2004.

The improvement, which was ahead of market expectations, reflects a full contribution from Household, the US consumer finance arm it acquired in 2003.

In Europe, where HSBC generates around a third of its earnings, profits before exceptional items stood at £1.68bn (€2.5bn) for the half-year.

Group chairman John Bond described the figures as a “solid performance”, reflecting revenues growth and a disciplined management of costs.

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