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S.Africa's Absa forecasts sharper fall in annual profit

Feb 19 (Reuters) - South African lender Absa Group said on Friday its full-year profit is expected decline further, a second profit warning in three months, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Absa said it expects normalised headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure in South Africa, to decrease by 50% to 55% for the year ended Dec. 31, from the 1,926 cents in 2019.

The company had in November warned of a 40% decline in annual HEPS.

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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