Commonwealth Bank's first half cash profit up 8% to $4.623 billion

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev. Photo: Getty Images.

The Commonwealth Bank posted a cash profit of $4.623 billion, up 8%, for first half of the year.

Statutory net profit was also up 8% to $4.535 billion.

Analysts had expected cash profit to be between $4.55 billion and 4.6 billion.

The bank announced a fully franked interim dividend of $1.98, up 8%, which means that $3.21 billion or 69.8% of cash profit will be paid to shareholders.

CEO Ian Narev said the bank’s focus on productivity has delivered a further $300 million of cost savings over the last 12 months.

“We have also maintained the strength of the group’s balance sheet in terms of capital, liquidity, deposit funding and provisioning,” he said.

On the outlook for 2015, Narev said the Australian economy has many of the foundations necessary to make a successful transition from its dependence on resource investment.

However, the volatility of the global economy continues to undermine confidence, particularly the impact of lower commodity prices on national revenue.

“Weak confidence is a significant economic threat,” he said. “Businesses need the certainty to invest to create jobs, and households need a greater feeling of security.”

He said that requires implementation of a coherent long term plan that clearly addresses target government debt levels and timeframes, infrastructure priorities, foreign investment, business competitiveness policies and, above all, job creation.

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