(Recasts, adds details on Brexit plans)
By Lawrence White and Emma Rumney
LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Barclays reported a profit before tax of 1.6 billion pounds ($2.08 billion) for the third quarter, as its under-pressure investment banking division booked increased trading revenues despite difficult market conditions.
The bank also said it will redeem $2.65 bln worth of preference shares, in a move it said would reduce its annual funding costs by 165 million pounds a year.
The transatlantic consumer and wholesale lender fashioned by Chief Executive Jes Staley said income from its markets trading business rose 19 percent in the third quarter, in a positive sign for an investment banking-led strategy that has drawn criticism from some cost-conscious investors, including activist Edward Bramson.
Barclays reported a better than expected core capital ratio of 13.2 percent at the end of the third quarter.
That number had been depleted by fines and misconduct costs in recent years and was a further source of concern for investors, but Barclays in August signalled confidence in capital levels by announcing a better than expected interim dividend.
The bank reiterated it was on track to pay a dividend of 6.5 pence per share for 2018.
Barclays also said the Irish central bank had given permission to expand its Irish operations, as it transfers the ownership of all of its European branches to the entity, ahead of Brexit on March 29.
The bank's profit figures exclude costs from litigation and fines for misconduct, which have blighted Barclays in recent years as it paid out for a host of misdeeds during and after the 2008 financial crisis.
Barclays group profits for the first nine months of the year fell in comparison with the same period last year, as it booked a 1.4 billion pound settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over mis-selling mortgage backed securities. ($1 = 0.7705 pounds) ($1 = 0.7709 pounds) (Reporting By Lawrence White and Emma Rumney, editing by Sinead Cruise)