Lloyds announces £1bn share buyback but profit falls short

Lloyds announces £1bn share buyback but profit falls short

Lloyds, Britain's largest retail lender, said that stripping out restructuring costs and items such as losses on the redemption of its own debt meant that its underlying profit was £8.5 billion past year, up 8 per cent on 2016.

Reuters, however, noted that the result fell short of average analyst expectations of £5.73 billion.

Lloyds' provision for PPI rose from £1bn to £1.7 billion.

Net interest income rose 8% to £12.3 billion while operating costs were 1% higher at £8.2 billion.

Shares in Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) have advanced this morning as the lender unveiled plans to return £1 billion to investors.

The announcement was accompanied by full year results for the bank which showed statutory profit before tax of £5.3 billion, up 24% year-on-year.

Mr Horta-Osório has been instrumental in returning Lloyds to profitability during his seven-year tenure so far, but the bank's fortunes remain closely linked to the health of the United Kingdom economy, especially as it is Britain's biggest mortgage lender.

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Dividends were hiked by 20% to 3.05p per share - this puts them on a par with last year's shareholder returns which were a combination of ordinary and special payouts. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group set a GBX 56 ($0.77) price target on Lloyds Banking Group and gave the stock a "sell" rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th.

"2017 has been a landmark year for the group", said Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.

"I am delighted to announce today our strategy for the next three years which will transform the group for success in a digital world", Horta-Osorio said.

With a PPI deadline approaching the number of PPI complaints Lloyds is receiving has spiked from 9,000 to 11,000 a week.

Lloyds Banking Group wants to increase its financial planning and retirement open book of assets by more than £50bn by 2020 and add an additional one million new pension customers.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "There's a lot to like in Lloyds' numbers, with profits rising, costs under control, and prodigious amounts of cash being thrown off to shareholders".

Mr Horta-Osorio said: "Although the precise nature of the UK's future relationship with Europe remains unclear and the economic outlook is therefore uncertain, the economy has been resilient, with low unemployment, stable house prices, record employment and GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 1.8%".

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