Barclays announce big rise in profits

Barclays said today that its half-year pre-tax profits soared 44% to �3.9 billion.

The blue-chip banking giant said profits rose 22% to �3 billion on an underlying basis in the first six months of 2010, with gains on the value of its own debt stripped out.

Its figures come after bad debt charges plunged 32% and as its investment banking arm shrugged off tougher market conditions to report profits of �2.5 billion.