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Lloyds Banking FY18 Pretax Profit Rises; To Implement Share Buyback Programme

Lloyds Banking Group plc (LLOY.L,LYG) reported fiscal 2018 pretax profit of 5.96 billion pounds compared to 5.27 billion pounds, previous year. The Group's statutory profit after tax of 4.40 billion pounds was 24 percent higher than in 2017, driven by increased underlying profit, a reduction in the payment protection insurance charge and a lower effective tax rate. Earnings per share was 5.5 pence compared to 4.3 pence. Statutory return on tangible equity increased by 2.8 percentage points to 11.7 percent.

For the fiscal period, underlying profit was 8.07 billion pounds, 6 percent higher than 2017, with higher net income and lower total costs partly offset by the expected increase in the impairment charge. The underlying return on tangible equity increased to 15.5 percent from 14.0 percent.

Fiscal 2018 net interest income increased to 13.40 billion pounds from 10.91 billion pounds, last year. Total income, net of insurance claims was 18.63 billion pounds compared to 18.66 billion pounds.

Looking forward, the Group continues to expect increased statutory return on tangible equity of 14 to 15 percent in 2019 with strong underlying profit and lower below the line charges driving statutory profit growth.

The Board has recommended a final ordinary dividend of 2.14 pence per share, bringing the total ordinary dividend for the year to 3.21 pence per share. This represents an increase of 5 percent on 2017. The Board has announced its intention to implement a share buyback programme of up to 1.75 billion pounds, equivalent to 2.46 pence per share, up 76 percent from last year. The buyback will commence in March 2019 and is expected to be completed by 31 December 2019.

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