The cost-cutting programme is continuing apace, with £1.75bn of reductions in the full-year, nine per cent more than forecast. Cashflow was also vastly improved, with an inflow of £1.9m compared to £737m a year ago, while net debt stood at £9.283bn, a reduction of £1m.
Even Global Services, the IT services arm that has performed disastrously in recent years, is showing signs of improvement. It reduced its operating loss from £2.1bn to £348m, while ebitda actually turned positive at £457m, against a negative £1.3bn last year.
The pension scheme remains a massive worry, with the latest deficit put at a whopping £5.7bn in March. Still, this is nothing new.
It’s probably too early to call this a recovery story, but these numbers suggest that one is on the way. Investors with a risk appetite could well do worse.