Goldman Sachs posts rise in profits

<p>Goldman Sachs posted a 41 per cent increase in net earnings.</p>

Goldman Sachs has announced an increase in profits for the opening three months of the year.

The US banking giant revealed net earnings of $2.75 billion (£1.84 billion) which represented a 41 per cent increase for the year before. Net revenue was also up 14 per cent at $10.6 billion. The bank explained that it was the highest quarterly revenue for four years.

However, it was not all good news as total revenue declined slightly to $19.74 billion. The ten per cent drop was said to be down to legal and restructuring operations which cost almost $1.3 billion. This helped to increase profitability and added to the positive performance throughout all of Goldman's operations.

Its investment banking arm was up seven per cent at $1.91 billion while the fund management operations were at $1.5 billion. Separately, Citigroup posted net income of $4.77 billion, a jump of almost a fifth compared with a year ago.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chief executive, said: "We are pleased with our results this quarter and the fact that all of our major businesses contributed. Given more normalised markets and higher levels of client activity, we remain encouraged about the prospects for continued growth."

Bank of America returns to profit

Prior to Goldman Sachs' announcement, Bank of America also stated that it had returned to profit for the first three months of the year. The US firm stated that it had recorded net income of $3.4 billion for the first quarter of the year a rise on the same period 12 months ago.

Bank of America's latest trading update is a significant improvement to last year when it was hit by litigation costs. It was boosted by a 55 per cent increase in mortgage loans and a rise in profit across its global banking division.

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