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Westpac posts $3.9bn first-half profit

Westpac posts $3.9bn first-half profit

Tim Stewart
— 1 minute read

Westpac has announced a first-half profit of $3.904 billion for 2015-16, up 3 per cent on the prior corresponding period but slightly below analysts' expectations.

The bank has also announced a fully-franked dividend of 94 cents per share, up 1 per cent on the first half of 2014-15. Earnings per share were 118.2 cents, down 2 per cent; and return on equity was 14.2 per cent, down 166 basis points.

The consumer bank division of Westpac posted a $1.444 billion profit for the first half, up 16 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

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The business bank profit was down 3 per cent, Westpac New Zealand's profit was up 2 per cent and BT Financial Group was flat at $452 million.

However, Westpac Institutional Bank saw its profit fall by 21 per cent compared with the first half of 2014-15.

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer put the "softer performance" of the institutional banking division down to "sector headwinds".

"Westpac Institutional Bank was affected by lower net interest margins and significantly higher impairment charges related principally to four large exposures which added $252 million to provisions," Mr Hartzer said.

However, the overall credit quality of Westpac group is "little changed" since the first half of 2014-15, with stressed exposures to total committed exposures of 1.03 per cent, down from 1.12 per cent.

"The increase in the stressed exposures ratio of 4 basis points over second half 2015 principally reflects a rise in consumer delinquencies, including in geographies more affected by the slowdown in mining," said Westpac.

"Impaired assets remained low at 0.26 per cent of total committed exposures, up 2 basis points over the year, while the provision coverage of impaired assets has remained high at 48 per cent."

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Westpac posts $3.9bn first-half profit
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