Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Lehman sets bar for investment banks with 27% earnings surge

Lehman Brothers set the bar for Wall Street yesterday, as the first New York investment bank to report second-quarter profits reported a better than expected 27 per cent surge in net income to a record $1.3 billion (£660 million).

The group, which reported a record $5.5 billion of revenues for the period, benefited from a near-doubling of share-trading revenue, to $1.7 billion, and an 87 per cent jump in bond underwriting revenue, to $540 million. Lehman’s bottom line was boosted by the continuing boom in mergers and acquisitions, which helped the bank to lift its deal advisory revenues by 14 per cent, to $277 million.

The advisory work, which included a role in the $12 billion purchase of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language media group, by a consortium led by the investor Haim Saban, helped Lehman’s investment banking division to a 55 per cent rise in net income, to $1.15 billion.

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