[LONDON] Barclays Plc reported a 2 per cent fall in full-year adjusted pre-tax profit on Tuesday and unveiled plans to simplify its UK & international operations to boost returns and cut costs, primarily by exiting its historic African business.
The British lender said it would sell down its 62 per cent stake in Barclays Africa Group to focus on two main sibling divsisions, Barclays UK and Barclays Corporate and International, two of its strongest divisions generating in excess of 10 percent return on equity.
News of the restructuring came as the bank reported a weaker than expected adjusted pretax profit of 5.4 billion pounds (S$10.57 billion) for the year to Dec 31, compared with 5.502 billion pounds a year earlier. The figure was below the average forecast of 5.772 billion pounds from a consensus of analysts'forecasts.
Barclays Africa Group was created by combining Absa Group and Barclays' African operations.