Bumper Barclays profits lift FTSE

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The FTSE 100 was 8.6 points higher at 6068 after bumper profits for Barclays lifed the index

Shares in Barclays have lifted 3% after the bank giant launched the sector’s reporting season with bigger-than-expected profits of £6.1 billion.

As well as the 32% improvement in headline profits, Barclays reassured investors over the performance of its investment banking division by revealing BarCap increased revenues by 20% in the final three months of 2010.

Barclays shares were up 8.8p to 319.5p and it helped others in the sector to progress as Royal Bank of Scotland lifted half a penny to 44.8p and Lloyds Banking Group added 1.5p to 67.2p.

Overall, the FTSE 100 Index was 8.6 points higher at 6068, despite a weaker session for miners.

Meanwhile, Premier Foods added 1.1p to 23.2p after the Hovis and Mr Kipling owner said it had reduced its debt burden to below £1 billion.

Trading profits edged up to £311 million after a resilient 2010, according to chief executive Robert Schofield.

There was no such post-results boom for pizza delivery firm Domino’s, which gave back recent gains after posting a 27% rise in underlying full-year profits to £38 million, slightly ahead of market expectations.

The company signalled further progress in its online strategy but shares were off 34.3p to 488.7p.

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