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July 30, 2021, 2:42 a.m. EDT

NatWest Swung to 2Q Pretax Profit, Resumes Dividend, to Launch GBP750 Mln Share Buyback -- Update

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By Sabela Ojea

NatWest Group PLC on Friday reported a swing to a pretax profit ahead of market views for the second quarter of 2021 and said that it intends to launch a significant share buyback program after resuming its dividend.

The FTSE 100 listed bank said it aims to launch a share buyback program of up to 750 million pounds ($1.05 billion) in the second half of the year. It said it also intends to close the year with a full year net release of provisions instead of an impairment loss.

The board declared an interim dividend of 3 pence a share and said it intends to distribute a minimum of GBP1 billion a year from 2021 to 2023 by declaring ordinary and special dividends.

The U.K. lender posted a pretax profit of GBP946 million compared with a loss of GBP1.29 billion for the year-earlier period and a profit of GBP1.68 billion for the same period in 2019.

Pretax profit was expected to reach GBP861 million pounds, according to the lender's compiled consensus.

Total income declined to GBP2.66 billion from GBP2.68 billion for the same period in 2020 and GBP4.08 billion in the same period of 2019. It was expected to be GBP2.63 billion.

NatWest's common equity Tier 1 ratio--a key measure of balance-sheet strength--was 18.2%.

Write to Sabela Ojea at sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix

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