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Supermarket Tesco announces annual net profit of £974m

Supermarket group Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, on Wednesday announced a massive jump in annual net profits, but its underlying performance showed a fall. Tesco said profit after tax stood at £974 million ($1.63 billion, 1.18 billion euros) in 2013 compared with £28 million for 2012. But pre-tax profits dropped almost 7.0 percent to £3.05 billion, the company said in a statement. bcp/cc

Royal Bank of Scotland says will pay government £1.5bn

Britain's state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland will pay the government £1.5 billion in a complex deal paving the way for the return of shareholder dividends. The bank has agreed to pay the Treasury the equivalent of $2.5 billion or 1.8 billion euros in a move also aimed at aiding its eventual return to the private sector, it said in a statement late on Wednesday. RBS, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, remains 81-percent state-owned after it was rescued with £45.5 billion of taxpayers' cash during the global financial crisis.

RugbyL: World Cup chiefs reveal £3.7m profit

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup has generated a profit of more than £3.7 million ($6.2m, 4.5m euros), organisers announced Monday. Tournament director Nigel Wood said the event, staged mainly in England and won by Australia with a crushing 34-2 victory over New Zealand in the final at football giants Manchester United's Old Trafford ground on November 30, had fulfilled all its financial and sporting objectives.

Britain's state borrowing rises in February

British state borrowing worsened in February, official data showed Friday, but the government remains on track to meet the new deficit target unveiled earlier this week. Public sector net borrowing, the government's preferred measure of the deficit, rose to £9.3 billion ($15.3 billion, 11.1 billion euros) in February. That compared with £6.5 billion in the same month of 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. Market expectations had been for borrowing of about £8.8 billion.

Britain hopes to foil fraudsters with new £1 coin

Britain announced Wednesday it was ditching the £1 coin it has used for the past three decades and replacing it with a 12-sided piece that will be harder to fake. The Treasury says the new coin, made of two metals in two different colours and modelled on the old Threepenny bit, will be "the most secure coin in circulation in the world". About three percent of all £1 coins, about 45 million, are currently forgeries and in some parts of Britain this rises to six percent, according to the Royal Mint.

Barclays awards top managers $53 million in shares

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Barclays <BARC.L> has given its top dozen executives nearly 32 million pounds ($53 million) in share awards, 20 percent lower than a year ago, partly due to a drop in its stock price. The British bank has faced a wave of shareholder criticism over its decision to raise bonuses last year despite a fall in profits and is under pressure to cut costs at its investment bank, which is the subject of a third strategic review in as many years.

Barclays pays nearly 500 bankers more than 1 million pounds

By Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays <BARC.L> paid almost 500 staff more than 1 million pounds ($1.67 million) last year, prompting criticism that pay is still too high and that banks have not changed their ways since the financial crisis.

Lehman Europe creditors in line for extra $8 billion payday

By Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge funds, asset managers and other creditors of Lehman Brothers' European arm will next month be fully paid out from money recovered from the carcass of the bank and could get an extra 5 billion pounds ($8.4 billion). PwC, the administrator of Lehman Brothers International Europe (LBIE), is paying a fourth dividend of 7.8 pence in the pound to unsecured creditors on April 30, which will lift payouts to 100 percent after three bigger dividends in the past 15 months.

RBS bank posts soaring 2013 losses, yet hands out bonuses

Royal Bank of Scotland's losses soared to almost £9.0 billion last year, the state-rescued lender announced on Thursday, while its decision to pay millions in bonuses triggered a political backlash. Net losses widened nearly 50 percent to £8.995 billion ($15.0 billion, 10.9 billion euros) in 2013 on the back of legal charges and the creation of a 'bad bank', RBS said in a results statement. Losses after tax in 2012 had stood at £6.055 billion. RBS promised fresh restructuring that will result in further job cuts.

Royal Bank of Scotland says 2013 net loss hits £9.0bn

Britain's state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland plunged into a near £9.0-billion loss last year on vast charges for litigation and the creation of a 'bad bank' division, it said on Thursday. The lender, which is 81-percent owned by the government after a huge bailout during the global financial crisis, added it would seek to slash its cost base by another £5.3 billion in the coming years and warned of more "inevitable" job cuts. Losses after taxation ballooned to £8.995 billion ($15.0 billion, 10.9 billion euros) in 2013.
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