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Amended: Close Brothers: FY Adj. Operating Profit Declines; CEO Prebensen To Step Down

(Corrects headline to say CEO is to "step down")

Close Brothers Group plc (CBG.L), a merchant banking group, said the group delivered a solid performance with continued strong returns and profitability during the year ended 31 July 2019. The Group reported higher profits in Banking while the Asset Management division and Winterflood faced more challenging conditions. Adjusted operating profit was down 3 percent to 270.5 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations was 135.7 pence compared to 139.3 pence.

For the fiscal year period, on a statutory basis, operating profit before tax declined to 264.7 million pounds from 271.2 million pounds. Earnings per share from continuing operations was 132.5 pence compared to 135.3 pence.

For the fiscal year, net interest income increased to 505.7 million pounds from 486.1 million pounds, last year. Non-interest income was 310.7 million pounds compared to 319.7 million pounds.

Also, the Group announced Preben Prebensen has decided to step down as chief executive. He will remain with the group for the next 12 months. The Board will commence a formal search for a successor.

The board proposed a final dividend per share of 44.0 pence, resulting in a full-year dividend per share of 66.0 pence, an increase of 5 percent on the prior year. The final dividend will be paid on 26 November 2019 to shareholders on the register at 11 October 2019.

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