HSBCÆs profits before tax grew to $22.08 billion. But it was the profit growth from Asia that dominated. AsiaÆs share of HSBCÆs total group profit grew from 33.8% in 2005 to 39.5% in 2006.
In fact, AsiaÆs pre-tax profit rose by $1.62 billion to $8.7 billion. Compare that with other regions of the world: North America was down $1.24 billion; Europe was up $618 million; and Latin America was up just $131 million. That suggests that if Asia had not performed so strongly û for example, had it been flat û the groupÆs profits would have been down.
Moreover, if you look at percentage growth it is clear that Asia was the chief growth engine. Asian profits were up 23%, versus 9.72% for Europe and 8% for Latin America. Needless to say American mortgage problems saw North AmericaÆs profits fall 21%.
Perhaps the most impressive number is that almost $1 billion of profit was added by HSBCÆs Asian business lines outside Hong Kong. This performance points to the increasingly regional balance of HSBCÆs business in Asia û whose P&L had historically been skewed towards Hong Kong.