Barclays posted a 25 percent drop in first quarter profits it said was linked to the bank's multi-million dollar restructuring programme and deeper-than-expected losses in its European operations.
Adjusted profit for the three months ending in March fell to £1.79bn from £2.4bn during the same period last year, Barclays said Wednesday in a statement published on its website. A poll of analysts conducted by Reuters suggested experts were anticipating for a figure of £1.85bn. Barclays said the figures include around £500m in costs associated with its well-publicised restructuring programme it has called "Transform" and expects a further £500m in costs to be incurred this year. Barclays said it would pay a first quarter dividend of 1 pence per share on 7 June.
"We set out in our strategic review in February our path to become the 'Go-To' bank for all our stakeholders," said CEO Antony Jenkins in the statement. "While there remains much to do to build a stronger and more resilient Barclays, we are completely focused on executing our Transform programme and are making good early progress. In our goal to become the 'Go-To' bank we have not chosen an easy path for Barclays, but we have chosen the right one."
Barclays' shares, after initally falling 1.2 percent in the opening minutes of London trading, advanced around 0.5 percent from Tuesday's close to change hands at 299.95 pence each.
The UK's second-biggest bank said the amount of money it needed to set aside for potential losses on loans fell 10 percent to £706m. It's tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of the amount of money needed to absorb group losses and protect shareholders and depositors, was pegged at 8.4 percent.
Barclays has been undergoing a massive structural and cultural change since the bank was first implicated in the global libor rate-fixing scandal in June of last year. The accusations - and eventual settlement with US and UK authorities - cost the bank £490m in fines and led to the departure of former CEO Bob Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius and COO Jerry Del Missier.
Late last week, two more senior executives of the Diamond era - investment banking head Rich Ricci and wealth management boss Tom Kalaris - announced their early retirements.
Jenkins revealed thousands of job cuts and warned investors of softer returns in February when he told Bloomberg Television that the bank was "entering a fundamentally different environment now than we've experienced in banking for last twenty or thirty years ...our estimation of the next two to three years is that we'll see the same sort of income performance in those years that we saw in 2012; in other words low single-digit revenue growth. And therefore to deliver the returns we seek for our shareholders we need to deliver on both capital and costs and what we're talking about today is all of those things."
Barclays said Wednesday that average shareholder returns for the first quarter fell to 7.4 percent from 12.4 percent in the final three months of last year.
The bank's European retail and business banking unit posted a £462m loss - significantly wider than the £72m loss is notched during the same period last year - as the division continues to drag on the British bank's bottom line. The group has been earmarked for around 1,900 of the 3,700 global job cuts which has thus far cost it around £356m in "Transform" costs.
Investment banking profits once again gained the Lion's share of Barclays's profits, notching £1.315bn - an 11 percent increase from the same period last year.