John Flint, Group Chief Executive, said:

“These are good results that demonstrate progress against the plan that I outlined in June 2018. Profits and revenue were both up despite a challenging fourth quarter, and our return on tangible equity is significantly higher than in 2017. This is an encouraging first step towards meeting our return on tangible equity target of more than 11% by 2020.”

Key highlights

  • Progress made against our eight strategic priorities, including accelerated growth from Asia and our international network, growth in our UK customer base, delivery of more sustainable finance, improved capital efficiency and investments in technology.
  • Reported profit before tax of $19.9bn in 2018 was 16% higher than in 2017, reflecting revenue growth in all of our global businesses. Adjusted profit before tax of $21.7bn in 2018 was 3% higher than in 2017, excluding the effects of foreign currency translation differences and movements in significant items.
  • Reported revenue of $53.8bn was 5% higher, notably driven by a rise in deposit revenue across our global businesses, primarily in Asia, as we benefited from wider margins and grew our balances. These increases were partly offset by lower revenue in Corporate Centre. Adjusted revenue of $53.9bn was 4% higher, excluding the effects of foreign currency translation differences and movements in significant items.
  • Reported operating expenses of $34.7bn were 1% lower, as higher costs, including investments made to grow the business and enhance our digital capabilities were more than offset by net favourable movements in significant items, mainly the non-recurrence of costs to achieve expenditure in 2017. Adjusted operating expenses of $33.0bn were 6% higher, excluding the effects of foreign currency translation differences and movements in significant items.
  • Adjusted jaws for 2018 was negative 1.2%, due to lower adjusted revenue in 4Q18 (down 8% on 3Q18), from weakness in markets. Operating expenses were higher from investments in business growth. We reiterate our commitment to the discipline of positive adjusted jaws.
  • Return on average tangible equity rose to 8.6% from 6.8%, up 1.8 percentage points.
  • Reported loans and advances to customers increased by $32bn. Excluding foreign currency translation differences, loans and advances grew by $66bn or 7% from 1 January 2018.
  • Common equity tier 1 ('CET1') ratio of 14.0% and CRD IV leverage ratio of 5.5%.
  • Maintained the dividend at $0.51 per ordinary share; total dividends in respect of the year of $10.2bn; confident of maintaining at this level.

For further information contact:

Media Relations

UK – Gillian James
+44 (0) 20 7992 0516

Hong Kong – Patrick Humphris
+852 2822 2052

Investor Relations

UK – Richard O'Connor
+44 (0) 20 7991 6590
investorrelations@hsbc.com

Hong Kong – Hugh Pye
Telephone: +852 2822 4908
investorrelations@hsbc.com.hk

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