Westpac first-half cash earnings up 24% as margins improve   3 May 2012

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand cash earnings rose 24 percent in the first half, reflecting improved margins and growth in lending and deposits in what it called a subdued local economy.

Cash earnings from New Zealand rose to $333 million in the six months ended March 31, from $269 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based lender said in a statement. Cash earnings for the parent company rose a more modest 1 percent to A$3.2 billion.

Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank, said it had “modest” balance sheet growth in New Zealand in the first half, with lending up 4 percent and deposits up 6 percent. “Improved margins, strong wealth and insurance cross-sell and lower impairment charges contributed to the strong result,” it said.

The outlook for the remainder of the 2012 year is similar to its home market of Australia, where growth “remains uneven and activity remains soft in those sectors that rely on consumer demand, non-commodity exports and tourism.”

In New Zealand, growth has been even more modest, with global uncertainty impacting exports,” the bank said. “Confidence and activity are showing some signs of improvement as the rebuild of Christchurch gathers momentum, although the pace of improvement is likely to be slow.”

Westpac had 20 percent of New Zealand’s consumer lending market in the first half, unchanged from a year earlier, while its share of deposits edged up 1 percentage point to 21 percent. Its share of business lending slipped to 17 percent from 18 percent, it said today.

Net profit at the parent dropped 25 percent to A$2.97 billion, meeting analyst estimates. In the first half of last year it recognised a tax gain from the acquisition of St George Bank. The bank’s effective tax rate was 30.7 percent compared to 5.6 percent in the first half of 2011.

Shares of Westpac traded at $22.69 and have gained 14 percent this year. The stock is rated a ‘hold’ based on the consensus of 20 analysts in a Reuters survey.

The parent company’s net interest margin was 2.17 percent, down 4 basis points from a year earlier. Its Tier 1 capital rose 28 basis points to 9.81 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Support for kiwi, not moas, in Rimutaka

18 Jul 2014 News
The Government today announced a $70,000 Community Conservation Partnership Fund grant for the Rimutaka Forest Park Trust to ensure... more

Coleman to meet China’s top military officer

18 Jul 2014 News
New Zealand Government Coleman to meet China’s top military officer Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman will hold talks on Monday... more

Business

Moa boosts first quarter sales, expects higher margins

22 Jul 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Moa boosts first quarter sales, expects higher margins to drive profits By Tina Morrison July 22 ... more

Hon. Steven Joyce: Better public services for businesses

21 Jul 2014 Business News
A single unique number for every business and a range of new services that reduce the need for businesses to provide the same ... more

Living

NZ Film 'The Dead Lands' to Have Toronto World Premiere

23 Jul 2014 Entertainment
New Zealand Film Commission New Zealand Film 'The Dead Lands' to Have Toronto World Premiere Maori action epic The Dead Lands will... more

Anti-mining campaign doco debuts at NZ Film Festival

22 Jul 2014 Entertainment
Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came... more

Property

NZ house sales fall in June, led by cheaper properties

14 Jul 2014 Property By Suze Metherell
July 14 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand house sales fell in June from a year earlier, led by properties of $400,000 or less, indicating... more

Average Auckland house prices reach record level

10 Jul 2014 Property
The average asking price for a home in Auckland has reached the record level of 732 thousand, 240 dollars. The figure is provided by... more

Migration

UK Tier 1 visa extension deadline looming

11 Jul 2014 Migration
If you’re in the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa, you’ll need to apply for an extension as soon as possible. The deadline... more

NZ more appealing to ex-pats - survey

10 Jul 2014 Migration
Auckland and Wellington have become more appealing to ex-pats in the past 12 months, a new survey has found. Both cities both dropped... more

Travel

100% Middle-Earth campaign wins prestigious travel award

17 Jul 2014 Travel & Tourism
Associate Tourism Minister Todd McClay has congratulated Tourism New Zealand on winning the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s... more

NZ guest nights at three-year high

10 Jul 2014 Travel & Tourism By Suze Metherell
July 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest nights climbed to a three-year high in May as short term stays climbed across all... more

Sport

INSPIRATIONAL ADAMS NAMED FLAGBEARER

23 Jul 2014 Commonwealth Games
Reigning Olympic, Commonwealth and World Champion Valerie Adams has been named flag bearer for the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team... more

NEW ZEALAND FLAG FLIES IN GLASGOW VILLAGE

23 Jul 2014 Commonwealth Games
The New Zealand team was officially welcomed to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow earlier this week. The team enjoyed the official... more

Columns

7 highly effective habits to stay healthy at work

23 Jul 2014 Column By Tricia Alach
The holistic helper's guide to wellbeing and work: part eight Like all good reports, my Wellbeing and Work series comes with an... more

Gordon Campbell on the non-apology to Tania Billingsley, PM John Key

22 Jul 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of... more

Kiwi Success

Hon.Judith Collins announces appointments to Public Trust Board

23 Jul 2014 Appointments
New Zealand Government Appointments to Public Trust Board   Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced the appointment of ... more

NZ Government Minister Foss announces commerce reappointments

23 Jul 2014 Appointments
Commerce Minister Craig Foss today announced four reappointments to various independent Crown entities and statutory... more

Recruitment

750 additional Trades Academy places for 2015

14 Jul 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand Government   Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Hon Hekia Parata Minister of... more

Take a dip into global talent pool

9 Jul 2014 Recruitment
International candidates can bring added value, says recruitment specialist New Zealand's thriving economy has created a "unique... more