Barclays restores dividend as profits rise

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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.

Barclays declared its intention to more than double dividend payouts in 2018 to 6.5p per share after lower costs helped lift profits a year ago - though they were still slightly short of analyst's forecasts.

Barclays shares were up 5.8% in early trading.

Lloyds Banking Group boss Antonio Horta-Osorio and HSBC's departing chief executive Stuart Gulliver secured higher pay packages, despite missing analyst estimates on profits.

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The bank further unveiled £2.5 billion in losses related to the sell-down of its Barclays Africa unit and a one-off £900 million charge over the USA tax reform.

"Group profit before tax increased 10% year-on-year as a result of our team's focus on execution".

Total income fell 2% to £21.2bn as weak market conditions hit revenue in the corporate investment bank (CIB) in the bank's worldwide arm.

For 2018, Barclays anticipates resuming a total cash dividend of 6.5p per share, subject to regulatory approvals.

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The investment bank's income from dealing stocks, bonds and currencies fell 18 per cent, according to its fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday, still a better performance than the average 25 per cent drop in markets revenue across Wall Street firms in the final three months of the year.

"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".

US President Donald Trump's new tax legislation resulted in a one-off charge of £901mln due to the re-measurement of double taxation agreements. "Clearly management and investors are pretty relaxed that it won't go that far, but there is no room for complacency". Total revenues of more than £21bn were broadly flat year-on-year, though there were heavy falls at the bank's key trading division.

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