Business

Goldman Sachs sees profits jump on stronger trading

Goldman Sachs office Image copyright AP

US banking giant Goldman Sachs has reported a sharp rise in profits thanks in part to an improvement in trading activity at its investment banking arm.

Net earnings for the first three months of the year were $2.75bn (£1.84bn), up 41% from a year earlier. Net revenue came in at $10.6bn, up 14%.

This was the highest quarterly revenue in four years, the bank said.

Separately, Citigroup posted net income of $4.77bn, up by a fifth compared with a year ago.

Despite the jump in profits, total revenue fell slightly to $19.74bn. A 10% fall in costs, largely legal and restructuring, amounting to almost $1.3bn, helped explain the increased profitability.

'Encouraging'

"We are pleased with our results this quarter and the fact that all of our major businesses contributed," said Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

"Given more normalised markets and higher levels of client activity, we remain encouraged about the prospects for continued growth."

Net revenues at Goldman's investment banking arm were up 7% at $1.91bn, while those at the bank's fund management arm were flat at $1.5bn.

The best performing division was market making - which provides liquidity to the market by setting bid and offer prices to brokers wanting to buy and sell shares - where net revenues came in at $3.93bn, up 49% on a year earlier.

The overall earnings figures were slightly below expectations, and Goldman shares were down about 1% in early trading in New York.

This week has seen a number of big US banks, including JP Morgan and Bank of America, report improved earnings.

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