Shares in Barclays (LON:BARC) have retreated in London this morning as the company posted a fall in profits for the first quarter of the year. The news marks a blow for the blue-chip lender, which has been under pressure ahead of its annual general meeting on May 2.
As of 08:58 BST, the Barclays share price had given up 2.19 percent to 162.73p, underperforming the broader UK market. The benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.53 percent lower at 7,432.24 points.
Barclays posts Q1 results
Barclays announced in a statement this morning that its profit before tax, excluding litigation and conduct cost, had come in at £1.5 billion for the first quarter of the year, compared with £1.8 billion a year ago. Earnings per share meanwhile dipped to 6.3p from 7.1p, while attributable profit stood at £1 billion, compared with a £800-million loss in the first three months of 2018 when the group’s results were pressured by a settlement with the US Department of Justice over mis-sold mortgage-backed securities.
Downbeat IB performance
The company, which has been facing pressure from activist investor Edward Bramson over its investment banking business, reported that the division’s return had fallen to 9.5 percent, from 13.2 percent a year ago.
“From a revenue perspective, we had a weak quarter in investment banking fees,” Barclays’ chief executive Jes Staley commented in the statement. Going forward, the company said that it will continue to target cost guidance for the year of between £13.6 billion and £13.9 billion, while cautioning that “should the challenging income environment experienced in Q119 persist, management expect to reduce 2019 costs below £13.6 billion”.
The downbeat performance at the IB unit comes at a sensitive time for Barclays, with Bramson looking to see the unit streamlined. The activist investor is currently pushing for a board seat at the group’s AGM on May 2.