BUSINESS LIVE: Royal Mail to hand £400m to shareholders

BUSINESS LIVE: Royal Mail to hand £400m to shareholders; Metro Bank takeover talks ended; Commercial property bounces back

Royal Mail is set to return £400million pounds to shareholders after the postal company forecast higher annual earnings in its UK business, following a strong first half.

The company was able to turn a corner since the pandemic began as more people shopped online, boosting its parcel delivery business.

US private equity firm The Carlyle Group and Metro Bank have agreed to end talks about a possible takeover offer for the British lender.

‘The board continues to strongly believe in the standalone strategy and future prospects of Metro Bank,’ the lender said in a statement this morning.

Warnings about ‘the death of the office’ as the pandemic struck were exaggerated, with new figures showing just how much life has been breathed back into the commercial property market.

British Land is back in profit after people returned to work over the summer once Covid restrictions were unwound, collecting 100 per cent of office rents amid the busiest period for leasing workplaces in a decade.

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Royal Mail profits surged to £404m in the six months to 26 September and forecast full-year profit for its UK business of around £500m