File picture: Toby Melville, Reuters

Johannesburg - Barclays Plc’s South African unit said full-year earnings will probably increase as much as 20 percent after the group expanded into the rest of the continent.

South Africa’s former Absa Group Ltd. bought the UK bank’s operations in eight African countries in July for 18.3 billion rand ($1.63 billion).

The renamed Barclays Africa Group Ltd. issued pro-forma results after the transaction last year to show shareholders how it would have performed in the past had the acquisition been included in the earnings.

Earnings per share for 2013 are “expected to be 19 percent to 20 percent higher than the pro forma of 11.80 rand for the prior year,” the Johannesburg-based division said in a statement today.

Earnings excluding one-time items will rise 13 percent to 14 percent, the bank said.

Barclays Africa, which is scheduled to announce full-year earnings on February 11, dropped 3 percent to close at 126.05 rand in Johannesburg trading. Barclays, based in London, is the UK’s second-biggest bank by assets. - Bloomberg News