Barclays share price surges even as full-year profit inches lower

Group signals share buyback ‘when appropriate’

Barclays share price surges even as full-year profit inches lower

Shares in Barclays (LON:BARC) have surged in London this morning, even as the blue-chip lender posted smaller annual profit. The group’s results follow those of FTSE 100 peers HSBC (LON:HSBA) and Lloyds (LON:LLOY) earlier in the week.

As of 08:25 GMT, Barclays’ share price had added 4.29 percent to 167.78p. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and currently standing 0.54 percent lower at 7,189.69 points.

Barclays posts FY results

Barclays announced in a statement today that its profit before tax had inched one percent lower to £3.49 billion last year, from £3.54 billion in 2017. The company saw its litigation and conduct charges rise to £2.2 billion, compared with £1.2 billion in the prior-year period, following its settlement with the US Department of Justice. The bank, however, posted an attributable profit of £1.4 billion, compared with a £1.9-billion loss, following the non-recurrence of a £2.5-billion loss related to the sell down of its Barclays Africa unit, as well as a smaller tax charge.

“2018 represented a very significant period for Barclays,” chief executive Jes Staley commented in the statement. “In the course of the year, having resolved major legacy issues and reduced the drag from low returning businesses, we started to see the earnings potential of the bank, as the strategy we have implemented began to deliver.”

Barclays announced 6.5p dividend per share and signalled plans for progressive ordinary dividend and share buybacks “as and when appropriate”.

Lender books Brexit charge

Barclays further noted in the results statement that it had booked a £150-million specific charge for the impact of the anticipated economic uncertainty in the UK as the country prepares to leave the European Union.

“We think that was a prudent and proper thing to do,” Staley told CNBC. “There is a lot of uncertainty out there. What is important for Barclays is we are a British bank and we are staying committed to the UK.”

As of 09:18 GMT, Thursday, 21 February, Barclays share price is 167.78p.

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