HSBC Q1 profit dips 20 pct, says April activity muted

LONDON Wed May 7, 2014 4:31am EDT

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LONDON May 7 (Reuters) - HSBC's first quarter profits fell 20 percent from a year ago to $6.8 billion as revenue dipped at its investment bank, while last year's earnings were swelled by asset sales.

HSBC, which is Europe's biggest bank but made two thirds of its profit last year in Asia, said it had continued to experience "muted customer activity" in April.

The bank on Wednesday reported a pretax profit of $6.8 billion, down from $8.4 billion a year ago but just above the average forecast of $6.6 billion from 13 analysts polled by the company. Underlying profits, stripping out gains from disposals and movement in the value of its own debt, was $6.6 billion, down 13 percent from a year ago. (Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Matt Scuffham)

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