HSBC beats Q1 estimates with 31 percent profit as costs fall

HSBC Holdings PLC surpassed expectations registering a rise of 31 percent in its Q1 profit. This was boosted by a flash increase in income from its main Asian business and its ability to rein in costs.

The European biggest lender by assets posted a profit of $6.21 billion before taxation in the period from January to March on Friday. Last year, at the same time HSBC posted a $4.76 billion profit.

Analyst’s projection compiled by the bank showed that HSBC last quarter’s posted profit was expected to be $5.58 billion.

HSBC send warnings in February saying that some of its 2019 investments may be delayed as a result of missing out the 2018 profit estimates. This was as a result of the slow growth rate in its China and Britain markets.

John Flint, the Chief Executive of HSBC said the company had planned a $15- $17 billion investment in a period of three years in improving technology and China. It would, however, keep constant profitability and dividend targets.

During the March quarter, the bank reported a 12 percent decline in operating expenses.

Flint has had the challenge of reining in costs which saw the bank in 2018 miss its target of ‘positive jaws’ that tracks banks performance in terms of revenue growth vis-a-vis costs.

HSBC has been facing the challenge of staff exits alongside slower than expected revenue growth, especially in its investment banking sector. However, it has struggled to boost its investments to increase its market share through business ventures like retail banking as well as wealth management.

On Tuesday, the bank reorganized its world banking division with Greg Guyett, a former banker at JPMorgan beginning to assert his authority on the business.

The bank reporting on its financial strength said that its core capital ratio slightly went up from 14 percent at the end of last year to 14.3 percent by the close of March this year. It surpassed analyst’s estimate end quarter ratio which was 14.0 percent.

The company’s shares closed 2 percent higher in Hong Kong, while in London, its shares jumped 2.7 percent in today’s morning trading.