Chief executive Jes Staley said he was "pleased" with how this year had started.
After three previous quarters of disappointing results, the fourth-quarter figures and 2018 trends are a welcome relief for the CEO, who has staked his reputation on turning around the securities unit.
Barclays was the worst-performing bank in the FTSE 100 index in 2017, falling 9% on concerns about both its investment bank and its legal and regulatory troubles.
Barclays stock rose 5 percent to 212.35 pence at 12:43 p.m.in London, touching a nine-month high.
The mean gender pay gap in Barclays International, which houses the bank's investment banking unit, is 48%, Barclays said, meaning the average hourly wage for a woman is just under half that of a man.
"Guidance on dividends and buybacks will be welcomed, although investors will continue to be skeptical regarding the capability of the investment bank to deliver", said John Cronin, an analyst at Goodbody.
Barclays is still paying penalties for its past sins, taking another 240 million-pound ($333 million) charge for litigation related to foreign-exchange manipulation.
CFO Tushar Morzaria said Barclays had gained market share, with business down in dollar terms by 10% compared with 20% at its biggest US rivals.
The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are investigating the American's conduct relating to the incident in 2016. Adjusted profit before tax and material items increased 23% to £4.5bn, which was shy of the £4.7bn consensus. Income from trading fell 18 percent.
"We have strong plans in place to address that underperformance in 2018", Staley said.
Banking giant Barclays has swung to a bottom-line loss of almost £2 billion after a string of hefty charges including Donald Trump's corporate tax changes and a hit from the collapse of Carillion. The bank also separately disclosed Thursday, its discretionary awards for investment bankers and traders fell slightly to 864 million pounds.
Barclays' investment bank has struggled to keep pace with USA peers in recent quarters, despite plans announced in October to shift some £20 billion in assets from corporate lending to riskier but higher-yielding trading activities.
The loss compared to a £1.6bn net profit in 2016.