NAB has reported a 94.8% growth in cash earnings to $3.343 billion for the first half of 2021, helped by the better than expected rebound in Australian and New Zealand economies. At the same time, its statutory net profit stood at $2.208 billion.
In the announcement made to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), NAB said its 1H21 results reflected the improving conditions, with cash earnings 35.1% higher compared with 1H20, (excluding large notable items) benefitting from significantly better credit impairment outcomes.
1H21 credit impairment charges were a write-back of $128 million, versus a 1H20 charge of $1,161 million. According to NAB, the improvement reflected partial release and non-repeat of 1H20 top-ups to forward looking collective provisions for potential COVID-19 impacts, and lower underlying charges.
“The result, and our growing confidence in the outlook, have allowed us to lift the 2021 interim dividend to 60 cents per share,” the bank said.
“Against this improving economic backdrop, there is growing momentum across our bank reflecting our investments in key strategic priority areas.”
But although the overall macroeconomic conditions significantly improved, NAB said there were still risks remaining as the recovery was not even, with its customers across international travel, hospitality, particularly in CBD areas, still facing significant challenges and their long-term outcomes dependant on factors including the impact of JobKeeper ending, timing of the vaccine rollout and the reopening of international borders.