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  • Writer's picturePeter Smith

FRIDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2000; So, £2.2 Billion Profit Not Good Enough for You?

I work at home in the morning. Draft my suitably rude response to Chris Wathen and do a note to my team with feedback from the RBS guy's visit. While some people are obviously worried, I have had two or three actually expressing interest in moving to Scotland.

The NatWest full year results for 1999 are announced and I get the Intranet announcement faxed through. Profit before tax was £2,185 million for the year, compared with £1,769 million last year for the same businesses. Return on equity was around 19.5%, just down on last year's 20%. Given all the mud that has been thrown at the company over the last few months, it is worth remembering that it is a highly profitable organisation making better returns than 90% of British companies and more absolute profit than all but a handful.

The announcement also says that our group profit sharing payment for all staff will be 6.1%, which is OK. The note from Sir David is fairly brief; he says we will do everything we can to help RBS, and thanks us for our contribution to the performance.

"This excellent set of results could not have been achieved without your dedication and professionalism and I would like to thank all of you for your continuing commitment."

I suspect that might be his last official action or communication as Chairman. It has been a real pleasure working for him.

Drive up to Peterborough after lunch for a CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) council meeting. The M25 seems to have equally spaced pile-ups every 5 miles or so, but I eventually get there in time for a quick burn in the gym before settling down to discussions on the Institute's strategic plans, response to the e-procurement revolution, and why more students don't maintain their membership.

I'm now getting quite a lot of sympathy from fellow council members, and a number of "come and talk to me " approaches, which while they probably won't lead to suitable permanent jobs, might be interesting if I end up going for some interim management work.

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