Barclays Africa Group has posted a 7% half-year rise in profits driven by strong regional earnings growth set against a significant economic downturn in the region.
The group’s overall interim income declined 0.5% to R36.3bn, which the group put down to a sharp increase in head office costs and lower contributions from the rest of Africa and its wealth, investment management and insurance (WIMI) divisions.
Barclays Africa’s South African banking division grew income by 1.1% to R26.2bn, contributing 72% of the total. Income from its rest of Africa division fell 6.3% to R7.7bn due to the rand strengthening.
UK parent Barclays, which has cut its holding in the JSE-listed group to under 15%, paid Absa’s holding company £765m in June to help with separation costs.
Barclays posted a $1.2bn loss for the same period citing its overhaul in Africa as well as the £700m designated for PPI claims, for the downturn. CEO Jes Staley admitted that reducing the bank’s global footprint – to concentrate on Europe and the US – over the past year and a half had not been cheap, but added: “We finally have clear wind in front of us and we’ll let the results speak to ourselves in the quarters ahead.” – African Business Review