HSBC's Q1 pre-tax profit drops 18% as market volatility bites

HSBC reported adjusted pre-tax profit of $5.4B for Q1, which CEO Stuart Gulliver called a resilient result in tough market conditions.

Adjusted revenue dropped 4 percent to $13.9 billion, in what Europe's largest bank by assets called "challenging market conditions."

Despite the difficult environment, HSBC's performance was "resilient", the bank's chief executive Stuart Gulliver said in a release that accompanied the earnings release.

Earnings per share came in at 20 cents per share, down from 26 cents per share in the same period last year. HSBC held its first-quarter dividend in line at 10 cents per share.

Gulliver noted that market uncertainty had led to extreme volatility in January and February, which hit revenues in the markets and wealth management businesses. But he said its diversified model helped to cushion it against the impact, citing continued strength in commercial banking and increased market share in the debt capital markets, Chinese mergers and acquisitions, and syndicated lending.

"Profits were down against a very strong first quarter of 2015, but we increased market share in many of the product areas that are critical to our strategy," Gulliver said.

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