National Australian Bank posted a $2.5 billion half-year profit this morning, increasing its interim dividend to 93 cents.
“NAB has delivered a solid March half year result, with continued growth in the Australian and New Zealand businesses and a stronger balance sheet,” National Australia Bank boss
Cameron Clyne said today.
Net profit was up $468 million or 22.8% on the same period last year, and cash earnings increased $87 million or 3.1% to $2.9 billion, thanks in part the bank’s decision not to pass on interest rates in full last year.
NAB also revealed it had cut 668 full-time positions since September last year as part of a push for efficiency. The cuts were made across a number of divisions and were mainly achieved through “convergence” activities.
Last year the bank said it would make significant cuts to its UK division.
“The UK Strategic Review is proceeding ahead of plan.
“The UK Banking business is managing a smaller and stronger balance sheet following the transfer of the vast majority of its commercial real estate portfolio to National Australia Bank Limited in October 2012,” Clyne said.
After the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to a historic low, NAB said today in its statement Australia’s economy needs a prolonged period of low interest rates.
“Lifting the mood of consumer caution and improving the sluggish performance of housing markets seen in the last few years would certainly help sustain domestic economic growth as the stimulus from the mining investment boom fades,” the bank said.
Overall bad debt charges were down 3.4 per cent from the same period in the previous year. The half-year dividend is up three cents.