Barclays PLC, the U.K.'s second-largest bank, soared in London trading after second-half profit more than doubled, lifted by investment banking and the sale of a fund management unit.

Net income for the six months to Dec. 31 rose to 7.5 billion pounds ($11.8 billion) from 2.66 billion pounds in the year-earlier period, according to Bloomberg News calculations based on full-year results posted Tuesday. That beat the 6.72 billion pound estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

"This is the first time in three years that we have had really positive news from a British bank," said Ralph Silva, an analyst at Silva Research Network in London, which specializes in financial services firms. "My biggest concern about Barclays is that too much of their profit is coming from one single line of business."

Most of Barclays' profit derived from the sale of its Barclays Global Investors unit to BlackRock Inc. in December for a $9.9 billion gain. The investment bank recorded an 89% rise in full-year profit to 2.46 billion pounds and declined in all other areas of the group including consumer banking, Barclays said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.