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March 1, 2010

HSBC’s 2009 profit down 24% to $7.1bn

by Gill Montia

Story link: HSBC’s 2009 profit down 24% to $7.1bn

HSBC has reported a 24% fall in pre-tax profit, to $7.1 billion, for 2009.

However, underlying pre-tax profit rose 56% to $13.3 billion, the gap pertaining to impairments at the group’s North American operations, although the bank points out that impairment charges at its ill-fated US consumer finance business, now in run off, fell by $1.6 billion.

Last year, HSBC achieved “very strong results” in Global Banking and Markets and its Commercial Banking division produced profits in every region “despite economic challenges”.

The group was profitable in all regions excluding North America and ended 2009 with an enhanced capital position and a Tier 1 ratio ahead of target, at 10.8%.

Having recently relocated group chief executive, Michael Geoghegan, to Hong Kong, HSBC says it expects emerging markets to grow three times faster than developed ones in 2010.

Group chairman, Stephen Green, describes 2009 as a “year of transition” in which the “global macro-economic transition from West to East gathered pace”.

However, Mr Green added a reminder that HSBC’s corporate headquarters remain in the UK, “where we continue to benefit from being at the heart of one of the world’s pre-eminent financial centres”.

Dividends in respect of 2009 totalled $5.9 billion, or $0.34 per ordinary share, with a fourth interim dividend for 2009 declared of $0.10 per ordinary share.

 

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