Royal Bank of Scotland Group has warned that it expects up to £1bn of “strategic costs” this year as it restructures its investment banking arm and continues to “resize” its operations. The plan was unveiled alongside full-year results detailing an increase in net profits from £2.15bn to £3.8bn. Operating profits climbed by 26% from £3.36bn to £4.23bn.
New chief executive Alison Rose has outlined a new strategy, including a name change to NatWest Group and a plan to halve the size of the NatWest Markets investment banking business. She says the company is “too complicated” for customers, with much potential value locked in business lines and models that generate too little return.
Drugs group AstraZeneca saw full-year pre-tax profits fall by 22% to $1.55bn, despite revenues advancing by 10% to $24.4bn. Operating profits dropped by 14% from $3.39bn to $2.92bn. Chief executive Pascal Soriot says the company is becoming a “better-balanced business,” regionally and through its medicines.
Industrial property group Segro has announced a 10.8% rise in full-year adjusted pre-tax profits to £268m as online shopping boosted demand for its warehouses. Net asset value per share increased by 8.9% to 708p. Chief executive David Sleath says the company has started 2020 in a “strong position”.
Finally, Abu Dhabi hospitals company NMC Health has disclosed that Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef has resigned as a director with immediate effect.
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