Aussie banking giant Westpac delivers robust results

BY  | FROM  | 2017-05-08 16:14

Australian banking giant Westpac Group on Monday announced its first half results, posting a 6 percent increase in their statutory net profit and a 3 percent increase in their overall cash earnings.
Westpac posted a net profit of 3.907 billion Australian dollars (2.897 billion U.S. dollars), which constituted a 206 million Australian dollars increase when compared to the comparable period last year, boosted by increases in net operating income of 3 percent before expenses, and a 26 percent decrease in impairment charges.
The bank's chief executive officer Brian Hartzer said in a statement obtained by Xinhua on Monday that the result was "solid" when taking into account the current "complex operating environment."
"We have been disciplined in balancing growth and returns, with cash earnings up 3 percent over both the previous half and the same period last year," Hartzer said.
"At 14 percent, our return on equity is at the upper end of the range we are seeking to achieve, and we held costs flat over the last six months."
Revenue for the banking giant was 10.76 billion Australian dollars for the first half, a 3 percent increase, while expenses sit at 4.63 billion Australian dollars.
Westpac is Australia's second largest bank, with a market capitalization of over 113 billion Australian dollars, which makes it the second largest listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
In terms of the outlook for the future, Hartzer said that although he saw Australia's housing market price growth to "moderate" during the year, the bank remains "positive" on its home loan lending arm.
"In 2017, financial system credit is expected to grow at around 5.5 percent. Housing credit growth is likely to ease a little as demand slows." Hartzer said.
"The financial services industry continues to experience significant regulatory change. Given the strength of our business, and our balance sheet, we are well placed to respond to any additional regulatory requirements," he added.
The bank announced it will pay an interim, fully franked dividend of 94 Australian cents per share to shareholders. (1 Australian dollar equals to 0.74 U.S. dollar)

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