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Weir soars on divi rise | BT | Barclays | TSB


5pm: Weir ahead after dividend hike

Weir Group shares shot up 7.16% or 106.50p to 1,594p after the company revealed it planned to hike its interim dividend by 17% to 13.5p from 11.5p as a result of the board’s ‘high levels of confidence’ in its strategy and future prospects.

Adjusted half-year profit before tax on continuing operations was 20% higher at £143m (2021: £118m).

Jon Stanton, chief executive said: “Momentum continued to build through the first half as we won record orders, executed strongly and made meaningful progress in delivering our technology and sustainability roadmaps which underpin our growth and long term strategy.”

The FTSE 100 fell sharply after the US confirmed it was in technical recession but recovered to close just under 3 points down at 7,345.25.

Shell managed gains of 0.31% after the oil giant posted a better-than-expected second-quarter profit of $11.5bn, driven by soaring energy prices.

Schroders pushed 6.15% firmer after the fund manager said assets under management ticked up 1% in the first half.

BT revenue rises

BT Group posted a rise in first-quarter revenue after it lifted prices.

In the three months to 30 June, revenue edged up 1% to £5.1bn. This was due to improved pricing and solid trading in the Consumer and Openreach divisions.

Core earnings were 2% higher at £1.9 billion and it said it remained confident about its outlook.

Barclays profits fall

Barclays posted a 24% fall in pre-tax profits to £3.7bn as higher costs and a £300m impairment provision for bad debts amid the cost of living crisis weighed on the bank’s bottom line.

Group income came in at £13.2bn, up 17% year-on-year, including £800m from hedging arrangements related to the over-issuance of securities.

Credit impairment charges were £300m, compared to a £700m release of cash last year that had been set aside for debts expected during the Covid pandemic.

TSB profits rise

TSB reported a half-year statutory profit before tax of £102.9 million, compared to £42.9m in H1 2021.

Robin Bulloch, chief executive of the Sabadell-owned bank, said: “The past six months have been incredibly challenging for many people across the UK.

“We’ve invested in improving the customer experience, pressing ahead with our programme of branch upgrades and further developing our digital offer, as well as continuing to offer a strong mortgage proposition – all of which has contributed to sustainable balance sheet growth and improved profitability.”

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