Barclays promise of a higher dividend policy on Thursday helped ensure a positive share price reaction, even after the UK bank reported a full-year net loss - hit by charges related to an asset sale and US tax reforms.
The bank reported a pre-tax profit of £3.5bn, up from £3.2bn a year ago, but failing to match analysts' forecasts of £4.7bn.
However, Barclays reported an attributable loss of £1.9bn, after it incurred a £2.5bn loss from the sale of its Africa business, £1.2bn in litigation and £0.9bn in charges from recent US tax laws.
Full-year financial highlights
- Net operating income fell 2% to 18.74bn
- Attributable loss of £1.92bn - down from profit of £1.62bn in 2016
- Dividend per share of 3p - equal to 2016 payment
While the 2017 dividend was kept at 2016's level of 3p a share after cutting the payment by more than 50% in 2015, Barclays said the dividend would rise to 6.5p a share in 2018.
Jes Staley, chief executive (left), said: "We have a portfolio of profitable businesses, producing significant earnings, and have plans and investments in place to grow those earnings over time.
"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.
While we still have a number of legacy conduct issues to address, I am confident in the capacity of this business to generate excess capital going forward, and it remains our intention over time to return a greater proportion of that excess capital to shareholders through dividends, and other means of capital distribution, including share buybacks."
Investors welcomed the news of further capital returns and pushed the shares 5.47% higher to 213.15p on the London Stock Exchange.
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