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

NZ Election 2017: Labour’s plan to unlock Canterbury’s potential

28 Aug 2017 News
Jacinda Ardern on August 28, 2017 Christchurch’s rebuild will be fast-... more

Updated plan to address Auckland’s growth

11 Aug 2017 News
11 August 2017 Transport Minister Simon Bridges has released a joint report by the Government and Auckland Council, which updates work... more

Business

Rocket launch a huge step for New Zealand’s space industry

25 May 2017 Business News
25 May 2017 Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has congratulated the team at Rocket Lab on the successful launch of... more

Increased investor confidence welcomed

29 May 2017 Business News
29 May 2017 Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the Financial Markets Authority annual survey results... more

Living

Austen vs Ashton - NZ's Penny Ashton is back with "Promise and Promiscuity"

17 Sep 2017 Arts By Penny Ashton
In 2016 all my Jane Austen dreams came true when I married my own personal Mr Darcy. I say that not because he had a universally... more

Straight out of Edinburgh - NZ's Modern Maori Quartet heading back to London - interview

28 Aug 2017 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
Fresh from their critically acclaimed debut season at the Edinburgh Festival, Auckland’s Modern Maori Quartet are heading back... more

Property

New Zealand Housing Affordability Measure released

10 May 2017 Property
10 May 2017 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) new Housing Affordability Measure will allow the market... more

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

Migration

Suspension of decision making authority

25 Apr 2017 Migration
24 April 2017Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is taking steps to improve Immigration New Zealand’s decision making... more

Recognised Seasonal Employers employ more Kiwis

8 Feb 2017 Migration
7 Feb 2017 Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a report showing the vast majority of employers who take on seasonal... more

Travel

NZ Election 2017: Tourism fund for infrastructure and conservation

28 Aug 2017 Travel & Tourism
Tourism fund for infrastructure and conservation Posted by Kris Faafoi on August 28, 2017 more

International visitors projected to spend $15 billion

12 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
12 May 2017 New Zealand’s tourism sector is forecast to grow significantly over the next seven years, with international... more

Sport

OPINION | Wallabies came out firing and didn’t wilt

27 Aug 2017 Opinion By Jim Kayes
27 August 2017 @JIMKAYES   Jim Kayes has been covering rugby since the late 1990... more

Praise flows for world champion Black Ferns

26 Aug 2017 Rugby
New Zealand's winning of the Women's Rugby World Cup has been hailed as one of the great women's games as the Black Ferns' powerful... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more

Spencer to be Acting Governor of Reserve Bank

8 Feb 2017 Appointments
7 Feb 2017 Finance Minister Steven Joyce will appoint current Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer as the Acting Governor of... more

Recruitment

Online job ads continue growing strongly

26 Jun 2017 Recruitment
23 June 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith says the latest Jobs Online report shows strong growth... more

New employment resource for young people

1 Mar 2017 Recruitment
28 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Education Minister Louise Upston have... more

s