This result was despite earnings at its investment bank plunging to £2.1bn (a dive of 22%), something Barclays blamed on "weak market conditions".
There was also a £901m hit from changed to US corporate tax laws made by President Donald Trump in January.
The bank said it had set aside £1.2bn for litigation and conduct, including £700m for payment protection insurance, also known as PPI.
The bank's chief executive Jes Staley described 2017 as a "year of considerable strategic progress".
He said: "We have already started to see some of the benefits of our work in 2017.
"Group profit before tax increased 10% year-on-year as a result of our team's focus on execution.
"Although we are only seven weeks into the first quarter, and it is too early to offer formal guidance, we are pleased with the start to the year, and in particular in the markets businesses in CIB (corporate investment banking)."
Barclays posted an attributed loss of £1.9bn for the year against a profit of £1.6bn in 2016 after taking a previously announced £1.2bn writedown from the sale of Barclays Africa Group .
The bank also said that uncertainty and increased market volatility following the UK's vote to leave the European Union was "likely to continue until the exact nature of the future trading relationship with the EU becomes clear".
Potential risks include increased likelihood of a recession, sparking lower growth, higher unemployment and falling house prices; changes to EU passporting rights; and more difficulty recruiting and retaining talented staff, the bank said.
Barclays chairman John McFarlane said: "While a number of challenges remain...we look forward to a more traditional business pattern, including the return to a more normal dividend pattern."