In its 2017 first quarter trading update, NAB revealed its unaudited cash earnings were approximately $1.6 billion – around 1 per cent lower than both the prior corresponding period and the quarterly average of the September 2016 half-year result.
The company’s cash revenue grew 1 per cent, with NAB attributing the improved performance to growth in lending and higher trading income.
Expenses grew 5 per cent in the quarter, pushed upwards by higher personnel and project costs, NAB said, though adding that “these items were partly offset by productivity savings”.
NAB also saw a 23 per cent decline in the charge for bad and doubtful debt, down to $164 million, though the ratio of 90+ days past due and gross impaired assets to gross loans and acceptances grew from 0.85 per cent at 30 September 2016 to 0.90 per cent at 31 December.
“We have made a solid start to 2017,” said NAB group chief executive Andrew Thorburn.
“Our revenue is up, asset quality is again a strength and our capital position remains sound. We are taking a disciplined approach to reshaping our business, balancing higher levels of investment with tight cost management, to become more efficient.”
Mr Thorburn said that the current operating environment had presented banks with a number of challenges relating to high levels of competition and increased funding costs despite the “resilient” Australian economy.
“We remain focused on executing against our strategic priorities to ensure we can grow in a sustainable way while managing our business responsibly,” he said.
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