Macquarie posted a 19% rise in net profit to $1.25 billion for the first half, with the banking group’s coffers swollen by performance fees and increasing revenue from outside Australia.
The board of directors approved an on-market buyback of up to $1 billion. The interim dividend is $2.05, 45% franked, up on the $1.90 for the same six months last year.
Operating expenses were down 1% to of $3.69 billion. Assets under management were down 2% to $473.6 billion from March.
CEO Nicholas Moore says the first six months of 2018 highlight the strength of Macquarie’s global platform, the diversity of its business mix and its ongoing ability to adapt to changing conditions.
“During the half-year we continued to build on the strength of our Australian franchise, while international income accounted for 62% of the Group’s total income,” he says.
Macquarie also announced that Glenn Stevens, the former RBA governor, will be appointed to the Macquarie Group Limited board as an independent director from November.
The bank expects net profit for the year ending March to be slightly up on the previous 12 months.
“Given substantial performance fees were recognised in 1H18, Macquarie expects the 2H18 result to be down on 1H18 and broadly in line with 2H17,” the bank says.
Macquarie, unlike some of the big four banks, has been hiring. Staff numbers were 13,966 at the end of September, up from 13,597 in March.
The numbers at a glance: