StockMarketWire.com - Banking group Barclays reported a rise in annual profit on slightly higher income but warned that the lower interest rate environment and the uncertain macroeconomic backdrop would weigh on returns this year.

For the year ended 31 December, pre-tax profit rose to £6.2bn from £5.7bn as total income rose just 2% to £21.6bn.

The bank's common equity tier 1 ratio rose to 13.8% from 13.2% last year, and was above the revised target of 13.5%.

The provision for payment protection insurance rose to £1,400m for the year from £400m a year earlier.

'We continue to believe that it is appropriate to target a return greater than 10%, and we are managing our business to achieve that,' the bank said. 'However, given the low interest rate environment, it has become more challenging to achieve that target in 2020.'

Barclays UK pre-tax profit halved to £1.0bn from £2.0bn, while Barclays International pre-tax profit rose to £4.1bn from £3.8bn.

Growth in its international business was driven by its corporate and investment banking business as well as its consumer, cards and payments business.

The total dividend for 2019 was raised to 9.0p, up from 6.5p in 2018.



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