Standard Chartered reported a slight increase in operating profit for the year-to-date due to tight cost controls.
In a trading update for the nine months ended September 30th, the financial services company said it delivered a strong performance despite an uncertain market environment.
Analysts at Credit Suisse pointed out that full year underlying group profit before tax was annualising at circa $7.7bn - compared to its estimate of $8.0bn - with "low single digit" nine-month revenue growth compared to the broker's 5% growth expectation.
Consumer Banking saw income grow at a mid-single digit percentage for the year-to-date, as third quarter income registered a single digit decline.
By product, income in mortgages rose by a double digit pace year-on-year during the period, income in credit cards and personal loans rose by a high single digit rate and Wealth Management income rose by a mid-single digit percentage (impacted by market volatility, Goldman Sachs points out).
In Wholesale Banking, client income also grew at a mid-single digit rate for the year-to-date, with strong volumes offsetting a lower margin environment than 2012.
However, an ongoing weakness in Own Account income and continued market uncertainty weighed on performance. Own Account Income dropped by a double digit percentage rate year-on-year in these nine months. Asset and Liability management income is off by around 20% year-on-year and Principal Finance revenues decreased by $140m or 40% year-to-date.
Costs were well controlled and rose in line with income in the year-to-date, despite significant increases in regulatory and compliance costs, and continued investment in the businesses.
Total credit impairments in the third quarter were below the first half run rate, at less than $300m, although it was higher than a year ago by some tens of millions of dollars.
It reflects continued elevated loan impairment levels in Consumer Banking and limited impairment in Wholesale Banking.
"In the third quarter, we delivered a resilient performance despite an uncertain macro environment, with continued strong levels of client activity and good volumes across many of our markets," said Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands.
"Our diversity by market, product and industry has underpinned our performance in the quarter, as has our ongoing tight control of costs and risk."
Commenting on the results analysts at Goldman Sachs said that: "The statement highlights low single digit income growth (impacted by adverse currency movements, margin compression and lower own account income), good cost control [...]
"We view these trends as somewhat soft relative to guidance at the time of the interim results of broadly flat jaws for fiscal year 2013 and income growth below a double digit pace but still 'at a good rate'. Overall, we expect the shares
to under-perform slightly on the back of today's release," the analysts added.