The investment bank made a profit of £E757.7m ($143m) during the first six months of 2008, compared to £E564.5m in the same period last year.

The bank said its strategy of focusing on its large and relatively stable asset management business was paying off in the current volatile market.

Asset management accounts for more than 30 per cent of the firm’s revenues. Total assets under management remained flat from the first quarter of 2008 at £E41.4bn, although they have nearly doubled since the end of the second quarter in 2007, when total assets was £E21.6bn.

The bank says the volatility of financial markets had affected asset growth but it expects to launch a number of new funds before the end of 2008 which should boost growth.

The firm’s profit margin for the first half of 2008 was 61.7 per cent.