London: British bank Barclays announced Friday that its net profit soared 29% in the first quarter of 2010, boosted by falling bad debts and signs of economic recovery.
Net earnings rose to £1.07 billion ($1.64 billion) in the three months to March from £826 million in the same period of 2009, Barclays said.
Pre-tax profit jumped 47% to £1.82 billion, with revenues up four percent to £8.07 billion.
Impairment charges and other credit provisions tumbled 35% to £1.51 billion.
“I am pleased with the strong growth in profits which we have delivered this quarter,” chief executive John Varley said.
“Diversification of our business and risk, and good underlying performance, have combined to produce this result,” he said.
“The improvement that we have seen in impairment (levels) reflects the signs of economic recovery now evident in many of the markets in which we operate.”