The bank confirmed it had been returned to full private ownership after the Government sold its remaining stake, nearly nine years after a £20.3billion bailout during the financial crisis, which left it holding 43 per cent.
Since then, share sales and dividends have delivered a return of £21.2billion, some £894million more than the initial investment.
Chairman, Lord Blackwell, said: “Today marks the final step in the rescue and rejuvenation of Lloyds.”
Pubs and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers was nursing a £70million share price hangover after half-year profit was diluted by rising wage and property costs.
Pre-tax profit at the FTSE 250 company, whose brands include All Bar One, Nicholson’s, Toby Carvery and Harvester, fell by £8million to £75million despite a 1.6 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.
Chief executive Phil Urban said the market remained “highly competitive” despite a “considerable slowdown” in new restaurant openings.
He described consumer confidence as “fragile”, but insisted M&B was consistently outperforming.
M&B is countering cost inflation by encouraging customers to “trade up and increase spend per head for a more premium experience”.
Menus have been improved but prices are likely to have to rise.
Consumer confidence is fragile Shares fell 17p to 258p.
Cake chain Patisserie Valerie’s owner is on track to open 20 new outlets this year after keeping investors sweet with tasty half-year profits.
Patisserie Holdings was boosted by ‘build your own cake” initiatives and afternoon teas as revenue increased by 11 per cent to £55.5million.
Pre-tax profit was up 15.7 per cent to £9.7million.
A recently launched 12-week supply trial with a dozen Sainsbury’s stores is set to be extended to allow “click and collect”.
It said the price of most core ingredients had stabilised after a period of high inflation, while wage increases brought in last month will add about £500,000 to the wage bill.
Shares rose 24p to 344p.
Ikea is building its UK presence by creating 1,300 jobs for three new stores: in Sheffield, opening in late summer, and Exeter and Greenwich opening next year, It will take the Swedish flatpack furniture chain’s UK total to 22 and increase its workforce to about 11,700.
The group, which has annual UK sales of £1.72billion, will be recruiting for a range of roles spanning store management, customer relations, sales, IT, interior design and restaurant staff.
Ikea’s Gillian Drakeford said: “We’re delighted to bring investment to new areas, creating opportunities for local communities.”
Source : EXPRESS