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24 Feb 2014

Annual Results 2013: message from Group Chief Executive

Stuart Gulliver

by Stuart Gulliver

Our performance in 2013 reflected the good progress we have made in implementing the strategy that we set out in 2011. We grew reported profit before tax by USD1.9 billion, generated USD10.1 billion in core tier 1 capital, achieved an additional USD1.5 billion of sustainable cost savings, and declared USD9.2 billion in dividends in respect of the year. By continuing to deliver our strategy in 2014, I am confident that we can make further progress towards establishing HSBC as the world’s leading international bank.

Since I outlined our strategy in 2011, we have reshaped the Group, initiating the disposal or closure of 63 non-strategic businesses and investments. We have transformed the way that we run HSBC, making it easier to manage and control. We have invested in strategic markets, seeking to capitalise on the advantages offered by our international network. The HSBC Group today is leaner and simpler, with strong potential for growth.

In 2013, reported profit before tax and underlying profit before tax were both higher than in 2012. Underlying profit before tax was higher in three out of our four global businesses and in every region with the exception of Latin America. Total underlying revenue grew 9 per cent faster than costs.

The HSBC Group today is leaner and simpler, with strong potential for growth

We delivered a further USD1.5 billion of sustainable cost savings, bringing the total annualised sustainable cost savings achieved since 2011 to USD4.9 billion – comfortably exceeding the target we set ourselves in May 2011.

We continued to generate capital, enabling us to grow the business and to cement our position as one of the highest dividend payers in the FTSE. We are one of the best capitalised banks in the world and are well-placed to meet expected future capital requirements.

2014 marks the beginning of the next phase of implementing our strategy. Over the next three years we will aim to deliver the three strategic priorities that we announced in May 2013. We will continue to grow the business and dividends. We will continue to implement our Global Standards programme to strengthen our response to the threat of financial crime. And we will continue to streamline our processes and procedures, aiming to deliver a further USD2-3 billion of sustainable savings.

We remain of the view that the GDP of mainland China will grow by 7.4 per cent this year, the UK by 2.6 per cent, the US by 2.5 per cent and Western Europe by 1.2 per cent. Although there has been a sharp sell-off in some emerging markets, we see this as a reflection of specific circumstances rather than a generalised threat. Overall, we remain optimistic about the long-term prospects of emerging markets and the opportunities for HSBC.