HSBC said on Monday that pre-tax profits in the first quarter of 2009 were "well ahead" of the figure for the same period of last year, despite the world financial crisis.
"HSBC has made a resilient start to 2009," the group said in an interim management statement, noting that "underlying pre-tax profit was well ahead of the first quarter of 2008."
It added: "Revenue recovered strongly from the fourth quarter of 2008, with record results in Global Banking and Markets which benefited from improved market share and margins in a number of key areas.
"The group's costs were held flat overall. Operating trends were in line with our expectations."
HSBC, while escaping the need for a government bailout, recently raised 12.5 billion pounds via a sale of new shares.
The huge rights issue was launched after HSBC's 2008 net profit plunged 70 percent because of the collapse of the US subprime or higher-risk home loan market -- whose collapse sparked the worldwide credit crunch.
"The rights issue enhanced HSBC's signature financial strength and this, together with the start made to 2009, means we are well-positioned to ride out the economic uncertainty ahead, and to take advantage of opportunities to grow," added HSBC Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan in the statement.
However, he admitted that credit demand remained subdued amid the ongoing global economic and financial crisis.
"As a leading global deposit-taker, we are very much open for business, particularly for our core customer relationships, but demand for credit is subdued," Geoghegan added.