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Absa sees higher 2007 earnings

Absa, South Africa’s biggest retail bank, said on Monday it expects group headline earnings per share and EPS to be between 15% and 19% higher in 2007.

Absa, which is majority-owned by Britain’s Barclays, said headline EPS and EPS for the bank unit would be between 25% and 28% higher than the previous year, the bank said in a statement.

”The lower growth in earnings of the group, relative to that of the bank, was as a result of lower investment earnings in the bancassurance operations. This division sustained its earnings at the same level as the previous year,” Absa said.

Headline earnings per share is the key profit measure in South Africa and excludes non-trading, capital and certain extraordinary items.

Absa Bank and Absa Group’s results for the year ended on 31 December 2007 will be released on February 19. – Reuters

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