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COMPANY RESULTS: STRONG POUND HITS SEDGWICK'S PROFITS

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Insurance broker Sedgwick reported a 4% increase in interim profits as sterling's strength wiped£7 million from it...
Insurance broker Sedgwick reported a 4% increase in interim profits as sterling's strength wiped£7 million from its first half pre-tax profits, which rose from£64.1m to£66.5m. The company said it would probably reduce its full-year result by£9m.

Barclays Bank beat market forecasts with an 11% improvement in first-half operating profits to£1.33 billion. BZW reported profits of£124m, down from£148m in the same period last year. Asset management profits rose by 48% to£46m.

Prudential announced a 19% rise in operating profits to£389m in the six months to 30 June at the top end of expectations. Pre-tax profits rose to£645m from£361m.

HSBC reported a 13% rise in first half pre-tax profits to£2.62bn. Midland Bank saw first half pre-tax profits up 27% to£829m as costs stayed flat at£1.1bn and its loan book rose by 10% to£105.5bn.

The National Westminster Bank group saw pre-tax profits of£669m after a£106m adjustment for the Budget on its leasing business. The investment banking division reported a loss of£22m partly due to a£77m net loss from mispricing of interest rate options.
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