Britain’s benchmark share index, the FTSE 100, is pulling higher on Wednesday morning boosted by strong performances from banking giant Lloyds, and property developer Barratt.
The FTSE is up around 0.4% as of 8.10 a.m. GMT (3.10 a.m. ET) gaining after Lloyds reported an increase in its statutory profits from £1.6 billion in 2015, to £4.2 billion, and confirmed a £2.2 billion dividend payout to shareholders.
Both results buoyed shareholders and sent Lloyds to the top of the FTSE, where its shares are close to 4% higher at £0.6935.
Here is how that looks:
“We have delivered strong financial performance in 2016 as we continue to make good progress against our strategic priorities. Underlying profit was £7.9 billion and statutory profit has more than doubled to £4.2 billion. We continue to improve our customers’ experience, simplifying the business whilst growing in targeted areas and in December announced the acquisition of MBNA’s prime UK credit card business,” Lloyds’ CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said in a statement.
The FTSE has also been cheered by a solid set of results from Barratt Developments, which has seen shares gain more than 3% as a consequence.
Barratt, the UK’s biggest property developer, said in its half-year results statement:
“The Group has delivered an excellent first half performance, with year on year improvements across our key financial metrics. The fundamentals of the market remain robust, with strong demand supported by good mortgage availability and Help to Buy. Government policy remains supportive and we welcome the recent publication of the housing white paper, which will allow a full debate on addressing the country’s housing needs.”
“FTSE sentiment may be impacted by Lloyds Banking Group results which appear to have beaten at the underlining profits before tax level (highest in 10 years; lower PPI) and the dividend being increased,” Mike van Dulken of Accendo Markets writes in his morning email.
“Housebuilder Barratt Developments says it is confident with its FY outlook thanks to forward sales +17% and has announced special dividends of £175M for both Nov 2017 and Nov 2018,” he added.
Elsewhere in Europe stock indexes are broadly positive following on from new record highs in the USA on Tuesday evening. Here’s the scoreboard: