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WestBromwich BldgSoc (WBS)

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Wednesday 30 May, 2018

WestBromwich BldgSoc

Final Results

RNS Number : 7285P
West Bromwich Building Society
30 May 2018
 

West Bromwich Building Society

Preliminary results announcement for the year ended 31 March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this document are forward looking with respect to plans, goals and expectations relating to the future financial position, business performance and results of the West Brom. Although the West Brom believes that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that these expectations will prove to be an accurate reflection of actual results. By their nature, all forward looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances that are beyond the control of the West Brom including, amongst other things, UK domestic and global economic business conditions, market related risks such as fluctuation in interest rates and exchange rates, inflation/deflation, the impact of competition, changes in customer preferences, risks concerning borrower credit quality, delays in implementing proposals, the timing, impact and other uncertainties of future acquisitions or other combinations within relevant industries, the policies and actions of regulatory authorities, the impact of tax or other legislation and other regulations in the jurisdictions in which the West Brom operates. As a result, the West Brom's actual future financial condition, business performance and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations expressed or implied in these forward looking statements. Due to such risks and uncertainties the West Brom cautions readers not to place undue reliance on such forward looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any forward looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                             West Bromwich Building Society
Preliminary results announcement

for the year ended 31 March 2018

 

The West Brom today announces its results for the financial year ended 31 March 2018, reporting further growth in residential mortgage lending and pre-tax profits of £8.8m. 

 

Key highlights include:

 

•   Statutory and underlying profit before tax of £8.8m (2016/17: statutory loss of £19.8m, underlying profit of £7.7m), a 14% improvement in underlying performance.

 

•   Gross residential mortgage advances up 18% to £837m (2016/17: £712m).  At £265m (2016/17: £167m), new lending to first time buyers was the highest in the Society's history.

 

•   Strengthened capital position, with a Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) capital ratio of 14.8% (2016/17: 13.8%).  Successful modernisation of the capital structure after the year-end date through the issue of Core Capital Deferred Shares, qualifying CET 1 capital instruments.

 

•   17% reduction in non-core commercial loan book, falling to under £0.5bn at 31 March 2018 (2016/17: £0.6bn).

 

•   Achievement of the Gold accreditation standard from Investors in People for our approach to people management.

 

•   Recognition for our ongoing commitment to members and local communities being Highly Commended in the Community Services and Best Regional Building Society categories in the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards for the second year running.

 

 

 

Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive, commented:

 

This has been another satisfying year for the West Brom where we delivered on our stated purpose to support the financial wellbeing of our membership through the provision of mortgages and savings products.

 

Although our reported profit shows a dramatic swing compared with the previous year, this position is distorted due to the one-off costs of reimbursing the interest charged on certain buy to let mortgages in 2016/17.  It would therefore be more appropriate to measure our progress in terms of the underlying performance, which shows a 14% increase in profits.

 

Pivotal to this success is our focus on lending to customers to support their plans for home ownership, which has grown for the fifth year in succession. 

 

We have responded to customer demand to assist first time buyers by increasing our maximum loan to value ratio to 95%.  We also added a government-backed Help to Buy ISA account to our savings portfolio for those who want to buy their own home but still need time to raise a deposit.  With the Society's new lending to first time buyers now at record levels, our commitment to this market sector is clear to see.

 

For savers, there has finally been some welcome relief from the low interest rate environment of recent years.  We were pleased to be able to pass on benefits from the Bank of England's decision to finally raise Bank Rate and there is a prevailing sense that further increases are to be expected as the economy stabilises.

 

Delivering a range of competitive savings accounts during the year, particularly a number of fixed rate bonds through our regional branch network, proved successful in attracting new deposits which we can then use to facilitate the majority of our planned mortgage lending activity.

 

Members value the safety and stability of their Society and this is why a strengthening of our capital position is to be welcomed.  The successful delivery of our plans for a Liability Management Exercise and the issue of a new financial instrument in Core Capital Deferred Shares leaves us well positioned to deliver more market leading lending and savings products.

 

While the West Brom's focus on helping borrowers and savers is very much in line with our mutual heritage, we have to recognise that we operate in a fast-changing retail environment.  New technology and the drive to digitalisation must be firmly on our radar.  This is a challenge we are already responding to so that our overall proposition continues to meet the needs of our members, both present and future.

 

30 May 2018

 

 

ENQUIRIES:

 

The West Brom                                              0121 796 7785

Ashraf Piranie 

Group Finance & Operations Director

 

 

Chief Executive's Review

Performance

The Society has again performed well against its mutual purpose. At £837m residential lending was 18% higher than in the previous period, with lending to first time buyers the highest in the Society's history. For savers we were able to reverse the long term decline in interest rates by passing on benefits from the first increase in Bank Rate for over 10 years. Although we took the opportunity to raise some long term funding from institutional investors, which did result in overall retail balances reducing, our lending remains predominantly funded by retail savers. This mutual model of using members' deposits to promote residential lending to those who wish to own their own home has stood the test of time, nearly 170 years in fact for the West Brom and its generations of members.

 

Performance against our mutual purpose

Although the return to a statutory profit of £8.8m (2016/17: statutory loss of £19.8m) shows a dramatic swing in profitability, this is of course a distorted view given the one-off adjustment required in 2016/17. The prior year results included £27.5m of one-off costs related to reimbursing the interest charged on certain buy to let mortgages. It is therefore more appropriate to measure our progress in terms of the underlying position, whereby profits improved by 14% to £8.8m.

 

However, what truly reflects the success of the Society's strategy over the last decade has been returning its activities to those that best reflect our purpose. At 31 March 2008, the mortgage portfolio comprised only 36% lending for the purpose of home ownership, with the remainder being made up of 41% buy to let and 23% commercial loans.  Moving forward 10 years, the Board's focus on the back to basics principles of the traditional building society model has fundamentally changed the composition of the loan book, which is now over 56% for home ownership, 34% buy to let and just 10% commercial lending.

 New residential lending for prime owner occupation has increased for the fifth consecutive year, by 18% to £837m (2016/17: £712m), with balances net of redemptions increasing to £2.7bn (2016/17: £2.3bn). These increased volumes have been achieved despite a fiercely competitive marketplace with historically low mortgage pricing being driven by the very low costs of funding provided under the Term Funding Scheme.

 

Clearly our support for home ownership also means we need to ensure we are able to help those wishing to buy their first house. It is pleasing to see that the Society has again supported an increasing number of first time buyers (nearly 2,000) through a range of products designed to keep initial setup costs to a minimum by offering up to 95% loan to value products with both free valuations and cashback options.

 

A number of demographic factors have continued to contribute to a decline in mortgage backed home ownership which has been particularly stark amongst younger generations. The Society recognises the importance of the role of the UK's housing market in supporting broader economic prosperity and in turn our own members' financial wellbeing. As a building society operating within the mutual sector our role is to ensure the availability of mortgage finance not only to first time buyers, but also those looking to build their own home and those looking to secure affordable borrowing options in retirement. Therefore, over the next year, we plan to expand our product offering to accommodate the changing needs of our borrowers.

 

The trust shown by our loyal saving members to hold their funds in safe and secure accounts in exchange for a good return underpins the success of our sustainable mutual model.  Retail deposits of £4.1bn (2016/17: £4.4bn) represent a healthy 93% (2016/17: 104%) of residential mortgage balances. For savers, the long awaited decision of the Monetary Policy Committee to increase Bank Rate to 0.5% will have provided some good news for those reliant on interest receipts to support living costs or those who wish to grow their capital for a planned purpose or a rainy day. The weighted average savings rate paid by the Society across retail deposits continues to remain above the rate paid across the cash savings market as a whole with a number of competitively priced fixed and variable products launched through online, direct and branch channels. Last year in particular the launch of the Society's competitively priced Help to Buy: ISA specifically through our branches illustrates our continued support for those looking to save for their first home in our heartland.

 

A modernised capital base

In January last year the Society received a challenge from a new minority shareholder of the Society's issued capital as to the eligibility of the Profit Participating Deferred Shares (PPDS) as Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) capital. While the Board remained of the unequivocal view that the PPDS met CET 1 requirements in all respects confirmation of this position was sought from the European Banking Authority (EBA). In the meantime the Board continued to act in the interests of members and pursued opportunities to assure the Society's regulatory capital position irrespective of any response from the EBA.  To this end constructive engagement was held with a different group of holders, representing a majority of the PPDS and nearly half of the Permanent Interest Bearing Shares (PIBS). Following these discussions, it became clear that a modernisation of the Society's capital base would be appropriate regardless of any EBA decision.

 

Consequently, the Society announced a Liability Management Exercise (LME), which introduced two new capital instruments, Core Capital Deferred Shares (CCDS) and Subordinated Tier 2 Notes. This restructuring was completed in April, just after the financial year end, and resulted in an increase in member reserves of circa £50m. There was no material change in the Society's Common Equity Tier 1 or total capital ratios.

 

Our Common Equity Tier 1 ratio ended the year at 14.8% (2016/17: 13.8%) and our total capital ratio at 16.7% (2016/17: 16.0%). This is a strong position, enabling the Society to continue the success of recent years.

 

Responsible lending, responsible funding

 

With significant growth in residential lending it is also pleasing to report that residential mortgage arrears have fallen for the fifth consecutive year. This performance is testament to the Society's capability to assess borrowers' creditworthiness supported by robust affordability models, scorecard processes and individual underwriting methods. Furthermore, the more seasoned residential loans that remain from the period leading up to the financial crisis are now performing well following a period of careful management.  Core residential arrears ended the year at 0.38% (2016/17: 0.63%), below the UK Finance average of 0.81%.

 

I have already referred to the benefit of the Bank Rate increase for the Society's saving members although, of course, a number of borrowers will have seen an increase in their mortgage interest payments. However, with the vast majority, some 87%, of new lending on a fixed rate very few new borrowers are exposed to any immediate impact of Bank Rate increases. When ultimately borrowers do face the potential of paying a higher rate at the end of their initial fixed rate deal, we ensure that at the point of agreeing the loan that the mortgage is still affordable should there be a need to pay a considerably higher interest rate - currently more than three times the level of interest initially being paid.

 

As a mutual, the Society remains committed to funding the majority of new residential lending growth with members' retail deposits; however the quality of the lending portfolio also provides opportunities to source long term wholesale funding through the issuance of Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) where it is economically sensible to do so. To this end I am pleased to report that in January the Society successfully raised £350m of low cost securitisation funding - the first time the Society has transacted in the market in five years, illustrating the confidence external investors have in the Society's ability to originate mortgage lending responsibly from good quality borrowers.

 

Non-core progress

Our determination to offer high quality products and services tailored to the needs of members has underpinned the commitment we made in 2009 to exit those areas that did not fit with this fundamental principle. Coming into the financial crisis of 2008/9 the Society's exposure to the commercial real estate sector stood in the region of £1.7bn. We have been conducting a carefully managed exit from this high risk exposure such that at the year end this exposure had reduced to £488m, 17% lower than the previous year and over 70% lower than the peak position. Furthermore, of the outstanding exposure some £53m is held in securitisation vehicles which, in effect, transfers the risk out of the Society. Of the remaining balance sheet exposure £254m is being managed by a Law of Property Act Receiver or Administrator, in order to achieve the best possible outcome, with £34m set aside by way of provision.

 

Our members' financial wellbeing

The Society strives to offer high quality products, in a responsible way, to support the financial wellbeing of our circa 434,000 members.  The product range offered by the Society allows members to build financial resilience by maintaining a personal savings buffer against unexpected events and/or by continuing to build equity in their home funded through a mortgage. In addition to these core offerings the Society continues to offer a wide selection of auxiliary products from Household Insurance helping customers protect their homes to later life planning and the financial advice offering supported by our partners Wren Sterling.

 

 

 

Our communities

We take our role as a regional building society seriously and continue to make a conscious effort to assist local communities, especially in our heartland area where our branches operate. This year the Society has partnered with The Kaleidoscope Plus Group who work tirelessly throughout the region to help people achieve better mental and emotional health. Through numerous fundraising events, the Society raised an impressive £30,000 for Kaleidoscope Plus. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kaleidoscope Plus as our charity of the year for 2017/18 with funds raised by the Society going towards the charity's Safe Spaces initiative, which supports people affected by suicide. As part of our year-long partnership, Kaleidoscope Plus also worked with a number of our people on mental health awareness training.

 

The West Brom's support does not end with financial donations.  This year, some 115 of the Society's people actively engaged in our popular volunteering programme where various teams from the Society supported a variety of local community projects. Our financial awareness programme 'The Money-Go-Round' continues to go from strength to strength, promoting the importance of financial awareness for the next generation. I am proud to report that these awareness sessions have now been delivered to 20 schools all within the Midlands Region.

 

Along that same theme, earlier this year the Society announced plans to bring our regional heritage to life through a unique partnership with the Black Country Living Museum. This new project, due for completion in 2022, will see construction of a replica West Brom 1940s branch as part of a new museum development. This educational facility will enable visitors to gain a contextual understanding of how the principles of mutuality supported the home ownership aspirations of local communities - the same premise from which the Society functions today.

 

Promoting engagement

Over recent years I have frequently talked about the importance of maximising the feedback we get in order to ensure we understand what will best support our members, and we are clear on what best enables my colleagues to deliver the best service we can. We have decided to make a further significant step and move beyond the initiatives we have launched in recent years by introducing two new important groups: a Member Council and an Employee Council. Both of these will be asked to consider issues that directly affect the Society, its members and how we deliver our products, services and community responsibilities, to contribute thoughts and provide perspectives that will be taken into account by the Executive and the Board when making key decisions. Recruitment for these two important groups is expected to be before the end of 2018. Continuing the theme of ensuring we, as a modern mutual, retain the vital participation of members in decision making, we are the first building society to move to a binding vote on the Directors' Remuneration Policy; this vote will take place at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

 

 

 

A vibrant future based on a traditional approach

Over what is now nearly 170 years the Society has existed through times of immense upheaval and changing thoughts on how core financial products and services can be delivered. Thriving through these times means that the Society has remained constantly modern and relevant. Perhaps we are now facing as much change and uncertainty as has existed for many periods throughout our history, not just in relation to the economy and how we come through Brexit, but also technology and the drive to digitalisation. These are all challenges we are set to take on and ensure we remain relevant for our members, present and future.

 

This will involve considerable change, principally in our core technologies, but we have started on this journey. We have ensured we have the capital strength, have reshaped the Society's business mix to be very clear as to who we are here to serve and have resourced ourselves to progress the next phase of technology change.

 

 

 

Jonathan Westhoff

Chief Executive

30 May 2018

 

 

 

Income Statement

 

 

for the year ended 31 March 2018

Group

Group

 

2018

2017

 

 £m

 £m

 

 

 

Interest receivable and similar income

97.3

108.9

Interest expense and similar charges

(41.8)

(53.6)

Net interest receivable

55.5

55.3

Fees and commissions receivable

2.7

2.7

Other operating income

3.8

4.1

Fair value gains/(losses) on financial instruments

2.5

(0.2)

Net realised profits

                   -  

0.5

Total income

64.5

62.4

Administrative expenses

(43.5)

(44.4)

Depreciation and amortisation

(7.2)

(5.7)

Operating profit before revaluation gains, impairment and provisions

13.8

12.3

Gains on investment properties

3.8

5.4

Impairment on loans and advances

(7.9)

(7.6)

Provisions for liabilities

(0.9)

(29.9)

Profit/(Loss) before tax

8.8

(19.8)

Taxation

(0.9)

(6.0)

Profit/(Loss) for the financial year

7.9

(25.8)

 

 

 

 

Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

 

for the year ended 31 March 2018

 Group

 Group

 

2018

2017

 

 £m

 £m

 

 

 

Profit/(Loss) for the financial year

7.9

(25.8)

Other comprehensive income

 

 

Items that may subsequently be reclassified to profit or loss

 

 

Available for sale investments

 

 

   Valuation (losses)/gains taken to equity

(1.1)

0.5

   Amounts transferred to Income Statement

                   -  

(0.5)

Cash flow hedge gains/(losses) taken to equity

0.8

(0.5)

Taxation

0.1

0.1

Items that will not subsequently be reclassified to profit or loss

 

 

Gains on revaluation of land and buildings

                   -  

0.6

Actuarial losses on defined benefit obligations

(1.6)

(10.4)

Amortisation of original discount on subscribed capital

                   -  

0.1

Taxation

0.4

1.7

Other comprehensive income for the financial year, net of tax

(1.4)

(8.4)

Total comprehensive income for the financial year

6.5

(34.2)

 

 

 

 

Statement of Financial Position

 

 

 at 31 March 2018

 Group

 Group

 

 2018

2017

 

 £m

 £m

 Assets

 

 

 Cash and balances with the Bank of England

              324.7

         294.8

 Loans and advances to credit institutions

              120.6

         174.0

 Investment securities

              311.9

         385.0

 Derivative financial instruments

                19.5

              6.3

 Loans and advances to customers

           4,805.4

      4,776.5

 Deferred tax assets

                15.3

           16.4

 Trade and other receivables

                   6.4

              3.5

 Intangible assets

                15.3

           13.3

 Investment properties

              132.2

         128.9

 Property, plant and equipment

                30.2

           32.1

 Total assets

           5,781.5

      5,830.8

 Liabilities

 

 

 Shares

           4,051.4

      4,427.3

 Amounts due to credit institutions

              571.3

         450.3

 Amounts due to other customers

              133.1

         132.7

 Derivative financial instruments

                38.7

           69.0

 Debt securities in issue

              493.3

         263.2

 Deferred tax liabilities

                   4.5

              5.0

 Trade and other payables

                12.0

           10.2

 Provisions for liabilities

                   2.1

              3.1

 Retirement benefit obligations

                   5.1

              6.5

 Total liabilities

           5,311.5

      5,367.3

 Equity

 

 

 Profit participating deferred shares

              175.0

         173.0

 Subscribed capital

                75.0

           75.0

 General reserves

              215.8

         211.0

 Revaluation reserve

                   3.4

              3.5

 Available for sale reserve

                   0.8

              1.7

 Cash flow hedging reserve

                     -  

            (0.7)

 Total equity attributable to members

              470.0

         463.5

 Total liabilities and equity

           5,781.5

      5,830.8

 

 

 

Statement of Changes in Members' Interest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for the year ended 31 March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit participating deferred shares

Subscribed capital

General reserves

Revaluation reserve

Available
for sale reserve

Cash flow hedging reserve

Total

Group

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

At 1 April 2017

173.0

75.0

211.0

3.5

1.7

(0.7)

463.5

Profit for the financial year

2.0

5.9

7.9

Other comprehensive income for the period (net of tax)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available for sale investments

(0.9)

(0.9)

Actuarial losses on defined benefit obligations

(1.2)

(1.2)

Realisation of previous revaluation gains

0.1

(0.1)

Cash flow hedge gains

0.7

0.7

Total other comprehensive income

(1.1)

(0.1)

(0.9)

0.7

Total comprehensive income for the year

2.0

4.8

(0.1)

(0.9)

0.7

6.5

At 31 March 2018

175.0

75.0

215.8

3.4

0.8

470.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit participating deferred shares

Subscribed capital

General reserves

Revaluation reserve

Available for sale reserve

Cash flow hedging reserve

Total

Group

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

At 1 April 2016

179.5

74.9

239.3

3.4

0.9

(0.3)

497.7

Loss for the financial year

(6.5)

(19.3)

(25.8)

Other comprehensive income for the period (net of tax)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amortisation of original discount on subscribed capital

0.1

0.1

Available for sale investments: reallocation of tax

(0.8)

0.8

Actuarial losses on defined benefit obligations

(8.5)

(8.5)

Gains on revaluation of land and buildings

0.4

0.4

Realisation of previous revaluation gains

0.3

(0.3)

Cash flow hedge losses

(0.4)

(0.4)

Total other comprehensive income

0.1

(9.0)

0.1

0.8

(0.4)

Total comprehensive income for the year

(6.5)

0.1

(28.3)

0.1

0.8

(0.4)

(34.2)

At 31 March 2017

173.0

75.0

211.0

3.5

1.7

(0.7)

463.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of Cash Flows

 

 

for the year ended 31 March 2018

Group

Group

 

2018

2017

 

 £m

 £m

 

 

 

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from operating activities (below)

(323.4)

138.7

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

Purchase of investment securities

(155.6)

(230.4)

Proceeds from disposal of investment securities

267.7

213.1

Proceeds from disposal of investment properties

0.5

0.2

Purchase of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets

(7.1)

(9.6)

Proceeds from disposal of property, plant and equipment

0.5

Net cash flows from investing activities

105.5

(26.2)

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

Issue of mortgage backed loan notes

348.5

Repayment of mortgage backed loan notes

(113.4)

(106.0)

Net cash flows from financing activities

235.1

(106.0)

Net increase in cash

17.2

6.5

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

475.3

468.8

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

492.5

475.3

 

For the purposes of the statement of cash flows, cash and cash equivalents comprise the following balances with less than 90 days maturity:

 

 

 

Group

Group

 

2018

2017

 

 £m

 £m

Analysis of cash and cash equivalents

 

 

Cash in hand (including Bank of England Reserve account)

318.1

287.6

Loans and advances to credit institutions

120.6

174.0

Investment securities

53.8

13.7

 

492.5

475.3

 

 

 

The Group is required to maintain certain mandatory balances with the Bank of England which, at 31 March 2018, amounted to £6.6m (2016/17: £7.2m). The movement in these balances is included within cash flows from operating activities.

 

 

 

 

Group

2018

Group

2017

 

 £m

 £m

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

Profit/(Loss) on ordinary activities before tax from continuing activities

8.8

(19.8)

Movement in prepayments and accrued income

(3.0)

(0.8)

Movement in accruals and deferred income

1.1

(2.6)

Impairment on loans and advances

7.9

7.6

Depreciation and amortisation

7.2

5.7

Revaluations of investment properties

(3.8)

(5.4)

Movement in provisions for liabilities

(1.0)

0.4

Movement in derivative financial instruments

(43.5)

(5.5)

Movement in fair value adjustments

24.1

(0.7)

Movement in subscribed capital

0.1

Change in retirement benefit obligations

(3.0)

(3.1)

Cash flows from operating activities before changes in operating assets and liabilities

(5.2)

(24.1)

Movement in loans and advances to customers

(69.5)

(47.7)

Movement in loans and advances to credit institutions

0.6

(0.5)

Movement in shares

(373.2)

45.7

Movement in deposits and other borrowings

123.1

167.0

Movement in trade and other receivables

0.1

Movement in trade and other payables

0.6 

(1.7)

Tax received

0.1

-

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from operating activities

(323.4)

138.7

 

Ratios

 

 

 

for the year ended 31 March 2018

Group

Statutory

 

 

2018

limit

 

 

 %

%

 

Lending limit

                10.5

           25.0

 

Funding limit

                14.8

           50.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group

Group

 

 

2018

2017

 

 

 %

 %

 

As a percentage of shares and borrowings:

 

 

 

  Gross capital

8.95

8.79

 

  Free capital

5.88

5.90

 

  Liquid assets

14.43

16.19

 

As a percentage of mean total assets:

 

 

 

 Profit/(Loss) for the financial year

0.14

(0.44)

 

  Management expenses

0.87

0.86

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group

Group

 

 

2018

2017

 

 

 %

 %

 

 

 

 

 

Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio

14.8

13.8

 

         

 


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