By Maximilian Clarke

Barclays Plc has delivered a growth in profits due to the banking group’s focus on reducing underlying profits, the third quarter interim statement shows.

Aside from a 5% reduction in expenditure, the bank is in line with its small business lending commitments outlined by the Project Merlin agreements.

‘‘I am pleased with the performance we have delivered for the first nine months of the year, with profit before tax exceeding £5bn, despite significant economic and market headwinds,” said the Group’s Chief Executive, Bob Diamond. “These results demonstrate the continued progress towards our 2013 goals through building momentum across retail and corporate banking businesses and strong relative performance by Barclays Capital in difficult market conditions.

Total income topped £25bn, delivering profit before tax of £3.4bn for the first 9 months of the year.

“Our profits before tax have been generated equally across our retail and investment banking businesses, showing the diversity and balance of Barclays,” continued Diamond. “Rock solid capital, funding, and liquidity have been maintained. We will continue to generate sufficient capital for our business needs and do not intend to raise new equity capital. We remain committed to lending in the UK and are on track to exceed our Merlin goals.’’

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