Barclays has reported a net profit of GBP2.43bn for the first half of 2010, an increase of 29% compared to GBP1.88bn in the same period last year. The bank attributed growth in earnings to surge in profit at its investment banking division Barclays Capital and sharp decline in bad debts.

Barclays’s total income in the first half of 2010 rose 8% to GBP16.58bn, from GBP15.32bn in the year-ago period.

The British banking group’s pre-tax profit for the first six months of 2010 was GBP3.95bn, up 44% from GBP2.75bn a year earlier.

The bank’s cost to net income ratio improved from 75% to 72% for the first half of 2010 as increases in overall levels of operating expenses were more than offset by increases in net income.

John Varley, CEO of Barclays, said: “Against the backdrop of subdued economic and market activity and the sovereign debt storm of the second quarter, we have delivered good growth in income and profits during the first half of the year, and, at the same time as lending a further GBP18bn to UK households and businesses, we have kept the regulatory balance sheet under tight control. The twin benefits of a broadly based set of banking activities, both by geography and business line, and sound risk management lie behind these results.

“The period ahead will be one of great importance to the future of the industry as the final shape of the reform agenda starts to solidify. We will engage fully in that dialogue, whilst keeping our eyes firmly on the needs and interests of our customers and clients.”