PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Citizens Financial Group, the Providence-based U.S. banking unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, reported pre-tax profits of $40.2 million for the six months through March 31, up 28% from a year earlier.

Royal Bank's chairman, Lord Younger, said the Scottish banking group's three main businesses - banking in Britain, retail financial services, and U.S. banking - had made "an excellent start to the year."

"Our profits have risen sharply and we are positioned to benefit from both continued economic recovery and the actions of our management team," he said in a statement.

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