Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) have climbed higher in today’s session as the lender posted a rise in full-year profit and cheered investors with a special dividend. The bank, which remains majority-owned by the UK government, however, warned on the impact of Brexit.
As of 09:16 GMT, RBS’ share price had added 0.66 percent to 243.20p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.09 percent higher at 7,203.64 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 13 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.5-percent fall in the Footsie.
RBS posts rise in FY profit
RBS announced in a statement this morning that its operating profit before tax had come in at £3.36 billion for 2018, compared with £2.24 billion in the prior-year period, while attributable profit was £1.6 billion, up from £752 million a year ago. The group’s income meanwhile rose by £269 million, or two percent, compared with 2017.
RBS announced that it was proposing a final ordinary dividend of 3.5 pence per share and a 7.5 pence special dividend, marking the part government-owned lender’s first special payout in more than a decade.
Lender warns on Brexit
The bailed-out lender’s chief executive Ross McEwan, however, cautioned that the UK economy faced “a heightened level of uncertainty related to the ongoing Brexit negotiations”. RBS noted that its “2020 target of a cost-income ratio of less than 50 percent is increasingly challenging for the business to achieve with the risk being to the downside,” reflecting the ongoing uncertainty, as well as the extra costs associated with Brexit and ring-fencing.