- Full year profit before tax below consensus
- Net asset value below Numis estimates
- Shore Capital: Dividend guidance lower than expected
- Most analysts positive on medium-term strategy
- Canaccord: Profitability of FICC/disclosure are issues
Barclays boss Antony Jenkins said the bank will cut as many as 12,000 jobs in an effort to slash costs and transform the business.
The Chief Executive made the announcement at a press conference after the lender reported its 2013 results.
The cuts will include 7,000 in the UK, half of which have already been announced. Jenkins also said the bank will close branches but would not specify an amount.
"Just to be clear we have no target for branch closures," he said. "However, we do believe technology is transforming the retail business. As more customers use electronic banking, branches will close over time."
During the conference, Jenkins defended the bank's decision to set aside 10% more to pay bonuses at its Investment Bank despite a loss at the division.
Barclays reported a 32% fall in 2013 adjusted pre-tax profit of £5.17bn (consensus: £5.41bn), reflecting a fall in income and costs of restructuring.
Adjusted income fell 4% to £28.15bn due to a reduction of £1,042m in the Investment Bank and £480m in the Head Office.
Investment Bank income was down 9% to £10.73bn, driven by decrease in fixed income, currencies and commodities and exit quadrant assets income. On this point, analysts at Shore Capital noted that investors might be disappointed by a lack of revised cost targets despite weaker future income expectations in the investment bank owing to planned leverage exposure reduction.
Jenkins is under pressure to rein in costs at the division so he faced questions over the bank's hike in bonuses. He said the bank has to reward its staff in order to attract and retain talent.
"We operate in a very competitive market for talent so we have to make sure we compensate for performance."
The Chief turned down his own annual bonus that could have been worth as much as £2.7m after the bank faced significant costs for restructuring and for provisions related to a series of scandals which included the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products sold to small firms and payment protection insurance (PPI) schemes.
In the fourth quarter the group took a hit of £331m linked to provisions for litigation and regulatory penalties. At the end of the year the provision held for PPI redress was £971m and for interest rate hedging products redress was £1.16bn, compared to £986m and £814m in 2012.
The company carried out a £5.8bn rights issue after the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority told banks to boost capital reserves to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, which took a toll on the group's return on equity, amongst other metrics.
Barclays also invested £468m to achieve its so-called Transform strategy in revamping the lender.
Jenkins said while there was more work to do to achieve its goal of becoming the Go-To bank, he believes the benefits of the overhaul will start to filter through this year.
Despite a decline in annual profits, he praised the bank's efforts. The UK Retail and Corporate Business delivered a strong performance with net interest income up 6% to £3.39bn, supported by the mortgage business.
A final dividend for 2013 of 3.5p per share will be paid on March 28th, resulting in a total 6.5p dividend per share for the year. Total dividends paid to ordinary shareholders came to £859m, up from £733m in 2012.
Management guided towards a 2014 dividend per share (DPS) pay-out ratio of 40%, which Shore Capital estimated would imply a DPS of circa 10p (versus its own estimates of 12p based on 45% pay-out).
Numis Securities maintained a 'hold' rating and 274p target price after the company's annual profits came in lighter than expectations.
However, despite the bottom-line 'miss', Analyst Mike Trippitt said he was "encouraged" by the progress the company has made on its capital position and leverage.
The PRA adjusted leverage ratio increased to just under 3%, from 2.2% at the half-year stage in June.
Numis explained that the weaker-than-expected bottom line was primarily attributable to operating costs which were £0.53bn higher than predicted at £18.70bn.
Meanwhile, net tangible asset value per share fell to 283p, from 349p in 2012 due to the impact of the rights issue last year and decreases in the cash flow hedging reserve and currency translation reserve. This was well below the broker's 302p estimate.