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Westpac sees 3% YOY increase in fiscal H1 cash earnings

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Westpac sees 3% YOY increase in fiscal H1 cash earnings

WestpacBanking Corp. reported a 3% year-over-year rise in cash earningsfor the fiscal first half ended March 31.

The group's cash earnings for the fiscal first half totaled A$3.90billion, up from A$3.78 billion in the prior half. Cash earnings per ordinaryshare for the period fell 2% year over year to A$1.182 from A$1.275 for theprevious half.

Net interest income on a cash earnings basis for the halfincreased year over year to A$7.65 billion from A$6.93 billion for theprior-year period.

Noninterest income on a cash earnings basis for the periodwas A$2.97 billion, down year over year from A$3.09 billion for the previousyear. Operating profit before income tax rose to A$5.53 billion from A$5.43billion.

Impairment charges on a cash earnings basis for the halfcame to A$667 million, up from A$341 million for the prior fiscal first half.

On a statutory basis, the group's fiscal first-half netprofit attributable to owners of the company totaled A$3.70 billion, or A$1.092per share, up year over year in the aggregate from A$3.61 billion, or A$1.140per share, in the first half of the prior year.

On a statutory basis, net interest income for the period wasA$7.48 billion, up from A$6.98 billion for the prior-year half. Net operatingincome before operating expenses and impairment charges totaled A$10.47billion, up year over year from A$10 billion.

The net interest margin for the full year was stable at2.14%, up from 2.05% from the previous fiscal first half.

Westpac NewZealand Ltd. contributed cash earnings of NZ$445 million, up 62%year over year from NZ$437 million as of March 31, 2015.

The group's Australian Prudential Regulation Authority BaselIII common equity Tier 1 capital ratio was 10.47%, compared with 8.76% as ofMarch 31, 2015. The group's internationally comparable common equity Tier 1capital ratio was 14.67% as of March 31, up from 12.19% for the previous firsthalf.

The group noted that its overall asset quality remainssound, while the level of stressed assets barely changed over the half.

The board also intends to pay a fully franked interimdividend of 94 Australian cents per share, up from 93 cents per share in theprevious year. Thedividend is payable July 4 to shareholders of record May 13.

As of April 29, US$1was equivalent to A$1.31 and NZ$1.43.