Barclays triples profits in best quarter for more than three years

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Barclays reported improved figures for its second-quarter earnings, a welcome sign to markets after what has been a challenging few years.

Barclays reported improved figures for its second-quarter earnings, a welcome sign to markets after what has been a challenging few years.

The British bank reported pretax profit of £1.9 billion ($2.49 billion) for the quarter, which was higher than the same period last year and above a consensus estimate compiled by the bank.

Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley expressed optimism over the numbers, speaking to CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Thursday.

"This is obviously a very strong quarter for Barclays, one of the first quarters since the restructuring began where we're really clear of all the major impediments — there's no more litigation hanging over us, no more costs to achieve, no more restructuring costs. One of the first clean quarters for Barclays, and portends for things to come," Staley said.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Barclays reported pretax profit at £1.9 billion ($2.49 billion) for the second quarter.
  • First-half underlying profits rose 20 percent to £3.7 billion, excluding litigation and conduct costs.
  • The bank declared a interim dividend of 2.5 pence per share for the year's first half, with the intention to pay a dividend of 6.5 pence per share for 2018.

The past year and a half have been a tough one for the U.K. lender.

The bank has struggled to shake off issues with its reputation after several years of scandal, the most recent of which centered on allegations of unlawful whistleblower mistreatment in early 2017.

Barclays reduced its staff numbers by 56,000, sold 22 businesses globally and closed its retail banking business across continental Europe and Africa.

The lender was also sued by the U.S. Department of Justice over its selling of toxic mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, agreeing in March to pay $2 billion to settle the suit.

Barclays reported a better-than-expected first-quarter pretax profit of 1.7 billion pounds in April. However, fines and legal costs led to a statutory loss.

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