HSBC claims profits down because profits were up before

The Mexican arm of U.K.-based HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) said Thursday that its first-quarter net profit fell 64 percent due to an extraordinary gain a year earlier and as a weakening economy forced the company to boost its loan loss reserves.

Net profit was 798 million pesos ($57.8 million), down from MXN2.21 billion for the first quarter of 2008, Grupo Financiero HSBC said in a press release.