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Barclays: new strategic plan welcomed

( - Barclays announced on Tuesday that it had posted a lower-than-expected taxable profit in Q4, although the key objectives unveiled in its strategic plan appealed to the market.

The British banking group generated a pre-tax profit of just £110m in Q4 2023, below half the consensus of £240m.

Its dividend for H2 will be 5.3 pence per share, again lower than the consensus of 5.8 pence per share.

A new £1bn share buyback program is to be added to this coupon.

However, these announcements were overshadowed by the objectives of the new three-year program, presented at its CMD.

Barclays says that this plan aims to improve operational efficiency and financial performance in order to increase profitability and offer a more predictable and attractive redistribution to shareholders.

By 2026, Barclays says it is aiming for a return on tangible equity (ROTE) ratio of over 12%, compared with 10.6% last year.

The bank also plans to distribute at least £10bn to its shareholders over 2024-2026, with a stated preference for remuneration in the form of share buybacks.

It also unveiled a new organizational structure comprising five divisions: Barclays UK (retail banking in the UK), Barclays UK Corporate Bank (corporate banking in the UK), Barclays Private Bank and Wealth Management, Barclays Investment Bank and Barclays US Consumer Bank.

These announcements were hailed by investors in London, where the share price climbed over 6% in early trading on Tuesday morning.

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