Royal Bank of Scotland posts annual profit update

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Royal Bank of Scotland posts annual profit update
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FTSE 100 financial giant Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) has seen its share price rise by 3.19% to 249.30p (as of 15:40 GMT) after it published its results for the year ended 31st December. Operating profits before taxation rose by 50% to £3.36 billion despite a 15 basis point drop in net interest margins.

The company’s chief executive Ross McEwan commented: “2018 was a year of strong progress on our strategy – we settled our remaining major legacy issues, paid our first dividend in ten years and delivered another full year bottom line profit. However, while our financial performance is more assured, we know that a significant gap remains to achieving our ambition to be the best bank for customers. We are fully focused on closing this gap.

Today we are reporting a pre-tax operating profit of £3.4 billion and a bottom line attributable profit of £1.6 billion for 2018. In addition, we are pleased to propose a full year ordinary dividend of 3.5 pence per share, and a special dividend of 7.5 pence per share. These are in addition to the ordinary dividend we paid at our interim results. Together, we will have returned £1.6 billion to shareholders, and around £1 billion to the UK taxpayer in dividends. We also have shareholder approval to participate in a directed buyback should the government seek to dispose of a portion of its shares.

The UK economy faces a heightened level of uncertainty related to the ongoing Brexit negotiations. We have continued to support our customers, providing £30.4 billion in gross new UK mortgage lending in 2018, and Commercial Banking made or renewed commitments of around £30 billion of term lending facilities to mainly UK businesses. Our Commercial and Business Banking businesses supported total lending of more than £100 billion in 2018“.

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