Lloyds to pay first dividend in six years

lloyds-bank-branch-2Lloyds Banking Group has announced it is to pay its first shareholder dividend in six years after posting a much improved financial performance for 2014.

The bank announced a statutory profit before tax of £1.8 billion, a considerable increase on 2013’s figure of £0.4 billion. As a result, it is recommending a dividend of 0.75 pence per share in respect of 2014, amounting to £535 million.

Lloyds recorded a 26% increase in underlying profit, to £7.8 billion (2013: £6.2 billion) while its return on risk-weighted assets increased to 3.02% (2013: 2.14%)

Income was up 1% to £18.4 billion, excluding St. James’s Place effects in 2013. Net interest income up 8%, driven by margin improvement to 2.45%.

“Over the last four years we have transformed Lloyds Banking Group into a low cost, low risk, UK focused retail and commercial bank. This has been made possible by the hard work of everyone at the Group. Today’s results also demonstrate that our profitability and capital position have improved significantly, and this has enabled the Board, for the first time in over six years, to recommend we pay a dividend to our shareholders,” said António Horta-Osório, Group Chief Executive.

“While we recognise we have more to do, we enter the next phase of our strategy from a position of strength. We will remain focused on our customers, embrace the digital age throughout the whole Group, continue our support for the UK economy and aim to deliver strong and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”