For this reason, we’ve initiated a process to discover a new Group LEADER, and we’ll be considering both inner and external applicants. Noel Quinn has agreed to serve as interim Group Chief Executive until a successor is appointed. Noel has been the Chief Executive of Global Commercial Banking since 2015. He is a proven innovator with a solid track record of achieving business success, excellent client interactions and deep global experience. I’m sure we’ll come back to this later and pleased to answer any questions but I think, more importantly, to go to Ewen now and the interim results.
Thanks, Mark. Afternoon Morning or, all. I’m now going to quickly step through the glide pack, which you can find on our Investor Relations website. Turning to Slide 1 on the key messages. We continue steadily to make good progress in the first half. 12.4 billion. That’s up 16% on the first half of this past year, and adjusted profits before tax were up 7%. We’re happy with the progress we’re making on improved cost control, which has helped drive a much stronger jaws performance.
828 million dilution gain from the merger of Saudi British Bank or investment company and Alawwal Bank or investment company, but those largely offset a large nonrecurring PPI charge and some severance costs. 1 billion buyback, and that is part of our ongoing commitment to neutralize scrip dividends as time passes. On outlook, we continue to progress towards our 2020 return on equity target, but the interest rate perspective has softened relative to the first one fourth, and geopolitical risks have tightened across many of our major markets.
In response to the, we’re actively controlling costs and investment growth in order to respond to a far more challenged revenue view. Looking at Slide 2 and progress against our 8 strategic priorities. We’re making good improvement against the majority of these. However, one concern where we’re not on the right track is the turnaround of our U.S.
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1.8 billion of capital back to the group. The U.S. revenue outlook is becoming more challenged in recent months. There’s been a big change in U.S. 6% return on tangible collateral in 2020. But we notice that current comes back in the U.S. Turning to outlook more on Slide 3 generally. Consistent with what I’ve just said about our U.S.
In addition, geopolitical risks have risen across many of our major markets, which creates additional volatility around our central bottom case. In the very near term, Brexit remains unresolved with skewed risk to the drawback. And trade tensions between your U.S. China are gradually impacting the development view for both markets. We’re responding to this changed income outlook with a tightened focus on cost. We’ve slowed investment development and some of which you can view reflected in the current results.
Going into the details now on our results on Slide 4. In the first half, we had altered revenue growth of 8%, which excludes the dilution gain from the Saudi merger. Cost control has improved. On Slide 5, we continue to see solid top line growth, up 7% in the next quarter and up 8% in the first fifty percent. Looking over the 4 global businesses. In Retail Banking and Wealth Management, overall revenues were up 14% in the next one fourth. In Retail Banking, revenues were up 10% driven by a good lending growth and higher deposit margins. Commercial Banking continued to develop strongly in the next quarter with 8% revenue growth.
But given the impact of interest rates and lower global trade flows, we do expect second half growth to moderate. In Global Banking and Markets, income were down 8% in the second one fourth and down 3% in the first fifty percent. Most of our deal franchises strongly continue to perform. Global Private Banking had another good quarter.
185 million on the next quarter in 2018. Favorable valuation distinctions on long-term debts and associated swaps as well as reduced deficits on legacy portfolios more than offset the expected lower profits from Balance Sheet Management. Turning to the next slip. Net interest margin was up 3 basis points to 162 basis points in the second quarter.
Average interest-earning possessions grew by 1% and world wide web interest income by 5%. Underlying this, in Asia, world wide web interest margin improved by 6 basis factors. 1-month HIBOR in the next quarter was a lot more supportive, up 70 basis factors to an average of 2% across the quarter. And in the U.K.