StockMarketWire.com - HBSC said Tuesday profits rose 16% for the full year despite weakness in fourth quarter owing to market volatility amid slowdown in China and uncertainty over Brexit.

For the year ended 31 December 2018, pre-tax profit rose 15.9% to $19.89bn. Revenue increased 5% to $53.8bn and operating expenses fell 1% to $37.7bn.

Retail banking and wealth management pre-tax profit rose 30.6% as higher interest rates, rising customer numbers, and growth of more than $20bn in the company's UK and Hong Kong mortgage book all contributed to a strong rise in retail banking adjusted revenue.

Adjusted jaws fell 1.2% due to lower adjusted revenue in fourth quarter of 2018, from weakness in markets.

The bank's common equity tier one ratio, a key measure of its financial health, fell to 14.0%, from 14.2%.

The dividend was unchanged at $0.51 a share.

'We have made a good start to 2019. Our Group revenue performance in January was ahead of our plan for the month and actual credit performance remained robust, albeit with some softening of credit performance in the UK,' the company said.

'We continue to prepare for the UK's departure from the EU in order to provide continuity for our customers in the UK and mainland Europe'

'We plan to achieve positive adjusted jaws in 2019 and remain focused on achieving a return on tangible equity of over 11% by 2020, while maintaining a stable dividend.'

At 8:07am: [LON:HSBA] HSBC Holdings PLC share price was -16.35p at 647.35p



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