Australia's Commonwealth Bank first half net profit jumps 8.0%

GMT 23:33 2015 Tuesday ,10 February

Arab Today, arab today Australia's Commonwealth Bank first half net profit jumps 8.0%

Australia's largest lender Commonwealth Bank
Sydney - AFP

Australia's largest lender Commonwealth Bank on Wednesday posted an eight percent rise in first-half net profit to Aus$4.53 billion (US$3.51 billion) while warning weak consumer confidence was starting to hurt business.
The bank's result for the six months to December 31 was up from Aus$4.21 billion in the same period the previous year.
Cash profit, a measure often preferred by financial institutions, also jumped eight percent to Aus$4.62 billion.
As investors focus on higher yielding stocks in Australia's low interest rate environment, the bank announced an eight percent rise in its interim dividend to $1.98 per share.
Chief executive Ian Narev said the result was driven by solid revenue growth and low charges for bad debts.
"Our ongoing focus on long-term strategic priorities -– people, technology, strength and productivity -– continues to benefit our customers, our shareholders, our people and other key stakeholders," he said.
"The group's revenue momentum has continued, while our focus on productivity has delivered a further $300 million of cost savings over the last 12 months.
"We have also maintained the strength of the group's balance sheet in terms of capital, liquidity, deposit funding and provisioning."
But Narev also warned that weak confidence levels were threatening the economic outlook and called on the government to act.
"Weak confidence is a significant economic threat. Businesses need the certainty to invest to create jobs, and households need a greater feeling of security," he said.
"That requires implementation of a coherent long term plan that clearly addresses target government debt levels and timeframes, infrastructure priorities, foreign investment, business competitiveness policies and, above all, job creation."
Australia's central bank last week cut its forecasts for economic growth and inflation this year and warned unemployment would likely rise as the economy transitions away from a mining investment boom.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said gross domestic product would expand 2.25-3.25 percent in 2015, compared with a November estimate of 2.50-3.50 percent.

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