Page last updated at 19:55 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 20:55 UK

Goldman Sachs sees bumper profit

Goldman Sachs booth at the New York Stock Exchange
Goldman Sachs shares have gained about 75% this year

US bank Goldman Sachs reported a net profit of $3.44bn (£2.1bn) for April to June, beating analysts' forecasts.

Less volatility in stock markets, rises in global share prices and involvement in many firms' rights issues and takeovers had boosted profits, it said.

The bank said it had set aside $6.65bn for pay and bonuses in the quarter - an average of $226,000 per employee.

Goldman has recently paid off $10bn of government loans it had taken as part of a government bail-out programme.

Its results include a one-off charge of $426m related to the repayment of its government loan under the Troubled Asset Relief Programme (Tarp).

Record revenues

Some have raised questions over whether it is right that a bank make such profits and pay hefty bonuses so soon after receiving government loans.

But analyst William Smith, of Smith Asset Management said: "Goldman should be celebrated, not demonised."

"Things are very fragile but they manage to make money in all environments, which is what you're supposed to do," he added.

Goldman's chief financial officer David Viniar said: "We are helping the economy to recover".

Robert Peston
Some may well ask whether taxpayers shouldn't have demanded a bit more for their succour, given that Goldman is once again the world's pre-eminent money-making machine
Robert Peston
BBC business editor

Goldman reported record net revenues of $13.8bn - about 47% higher than it generated in the preceding three months.

Meanwhile, staff remuneration figures takes the bank's average payout per employee for the first half of the year to $384,000.

However, bonuses are not actually finalised until the end of the year - and the figure which is paid out reflects performance over 12 months, it said.

Analysts had already predicted that the annual payout in 2009 for its staff could be nearly $18bn - or an average of more than $600,000 per person.

Share rises

Six months ago, Goldman reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, after being battered by the economic crisis.

But it then surprised Wall Street by reporting a $1.8bn profit for the first three months of the year, despite the financial crisis.

And the bank said it had benefitted from higher volumes of trading in shares, while seeing record revenues from currency and commodities trading during the second quarter.


While markets remain fragile and we recognise the challenges the broader economy faces, our second quarter results reflected the combination of improving financial market conditions and a deep and diverse client franchise

Lloyd Blankfein
Chief executive
Goldman Sachs

It also gained from several firms raising funds from shareholders through rights issues. Revenues from underwriting - where the bank agrees to buy any shares not taken up by investors in return for a fee - rose 21%.

And its lack of exposure to the weak consumer retail markets, had also helped.

"While markets remain fragile and we recognise the challenges the broader economy faces, our second quarter results reflected the combination of improving financial market conditions and a deep and diverse client franchise," said chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Its share price, while still well off its highs, has gained about 75% in 2009.

Goldman paid $771m in dividends to holders of its preferential shares.

The $3.44bn net profit compares with $2.1bn in the three months to May 2008, when it had a different reporting schedule.



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