Westpac has broken clear of the heavy provisioning to post a 189% increase in statutory net profit of $3,443 million on the back of a 256% increase in cash earnings.
The result sees the big banking group offering shareholders an interim dividend of 58 cents per share.
Commenting on the result, released to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today, Westpac chief executive, Peter King, described it as a promising start to the year with increased cash earnings, growth in mortgages and continued balance sheet strength.
“First half earnings were considerably higher than the prior corresponding period, mainly due to an impairment benefit reflecting improved asset quality and a better economic outlook,” he said.
King said the company was beginning to see the benefits of its new operating model through improved performance.
“Our Australian mortgage book increased $2.6 million over the past six months, with good growth in owner occupier loans partly offset by lower investor lending,” he said.