HSBC Holdings yesterday reported $21.9 billion pre-tax profit, an increase of 15 per cent over the $19 billion earned in 2010.
CEO Stuart Gulliver said the bank is confident of achieving its 12 per cent return-on-equity target by 2013 as it gained traction in its first year of a three-year strategy to reshape the group, improve returns and position for growth.
The bank reported strong performance in faster-growing markets such as the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), Asia and Latin America which together now account for half of the group's revenue.
In the Mena region, the bank achieved more than 8 per cent growth in operating income to $2.6 billion compared to $2.4 billion in 2010. Profit before tax for the region was up 67 per cent to $1.49 billion last year compared to $892 million in 2010. The Mena region's contribution to total pre-tax profit was close to 7 per cent in 2011.
"2011 saw HSBC in the Mena region deliver a very strong performance. This was the year that we saw our strategic plan for the region come to fruition, returning HSBC to sustainable growth, re-engineering our business to improve efficiency and to better serve our customers," Simon Cooper, CEO of HSBC Middle East and North Africa, said.
Profits from UAE operations were up 77 per cent to $575 million from $324 million in 2010. The UAE accounted for 38.5 per cent of the bank's pre-tax profit from the Mena region.
In the Mena region, global banking and markets business and the commercial banking business were the leading contributors to profits.
While the global banking and markets contributed $643 million compared to $299 million in 2010, commercial banking profits were up 11 per cent to $537 million.
"HSBC's Mena business has come through 2011 in very good shape. Our customers appreciated our strength and regional presence more than ever in the year of the Arab Spring and the European financial crisis. We look forward to delivering another strong year of sustainable growth in 2012," Cooper said.
At the group level, HSBC continued the restructuring last year which resulted in the sale or closure of 19 units since 2010. The bank is also cutting 30,000 jobs to save as much as $3.5 billion by 2013 and boost profitability.
Last year the bank's return on equity rose to 10.9 per cent from 9.5 per cent. The bank is striving to reach more than 12 per cent this year.
Compensation: £6.6m pay package for CEO
HSBC Holdings CEO Stuart Gulliver last year received £6.6 million in pay, bonus awards from previous years and allowances.
That compares with total a payout of £3.9 million in 2010, the bank said in its annual report, published yesterday. Separately, Gulliver, 52, was awarded a £2.16 million bonus and a £3.75 million share award for 2011, which will be deferred for between one and five years and will be subject to clawback, the bank said.