The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, the UK's second-largest banking firm, has announced H1 pre-tax profits of GBP3.7 billion, a 14% increase compared to GBP3.2 billion the previous year. The bank attributed the growth primarily to a strong performance in its Corporate Banking unit, which delivered high earnings across its domestic UK business as well as in Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific.

H1 revenues totaled GBP12.5 billion, a 15% increase compared to the same period in the previous year, while, in concordance with the widely documented reduction in UK consumer spending, the bank’s Retail Markets division recorded a 2% fall in profit.

Nevertheless growth in the corporate sector as well as a strong performance in the group’s Citizens Bank, Ulster Bank and RBS Insurance businesses helped to offset the drop in retail banking and still maintain the integration of their respective acquisitions on target.

These results continue some consistent themes in the group’s performance, said group chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, Increasing diversity ensures we can gain from strengthening market conditions in different geographies and consequently are not overly dependent on the performance of any single economy.

Meanwhile, the group, which embarked on an acquisition spree recently, said integration costs had risen to GBP281 million from GBP178 million in the same period last year.