Hong Kong — HSBC said on Thursday that pretax profit fell 19% to $4.96bn in the first three months of the year.
The bank said the drop in reported profit was down to a change in the accounting of the fair value of its debt, while the results from a year ago included proceeds from its Brazil business, which was sold in July 2016.
It also posted a 19.5% drop in year-on-year net profit to $3.13bn from $3.89bn in the year-earlier period.
However, it said adjusted pretax profit, which excludes one-time items, rose to $5.94bn from $5.3bn a year earlier, with group CE Stuart Gulliver calling it a "good set of results".
Gulliver said the figure was boosted by a $1bn share buyback as well as progress on cost-saving.
That figure beat estimates of $5.3bn in a survey by Bloomberg News.
The results are the first since the banking giant announced the appointment of a new chairperson in March as part of a management overhaul that includes it choosing a new CE, following a massive drop in profits in 2016.
British businessman Mark Tucker, currently group CE and president of insurance group AIA, will take over from Douglas Flint in October. He will lead the hunt for a new CEO to replace Gulliver who is set to retire in 2018.