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United Kingdom-based Barclays PLC, citing strong international income growth, said Thursday that Barclaycard, the bank's credit card-issuing arm, saw pretax profits increase to £388 million (US$754.3 million or 492 million euros) for the six months ended 30 June, up 30% from £299 million for the same period last year. This year's figure includes a £41 million gain from Goldfish, which Barclays bought in February from United States-based Discover Financial Services for £35 million. Barclaycard's net income for the first six months of the year increased 15%, to £941 million from £820 million a year ago. Net interest income increased 15%, to £787 million from £686 million in 2007. Chris Lucas, Barclays group finance director, told investors during a conference call Thursday that Barclaycard International "continues to gain momentum." Barclaycard International generated a 64% increase in pretax profit, to £100 million for the first half of this year from £61 million a year ago, Lucas says. A significant contribution came from Barclaycard US, despite the country's struggling economy, he said. Figures from Barclaycard US were not available, a Barclays spokesperson tells CardLine Global. The number of Barclaycard UK customers as of the end of June increased 24%, to 11.9 million from 9.6 million a year earlier. International cards in issue increased 22%, to 11.2 million from 9.2 million. Overall, Barclays PLC reported a 33% decrease in pretax profit, to £2.75 billion from £4.1 billion for the first six months of 2007. Net income decreased 14%, to £9.39 billion from £10.94 billion

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