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Westpac NZ Q1 profit up 43%

Wednesday 29th February 2012

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The New Zealand arm of Australian banking giant Westpac saw tax-paid profit jump 43 percent in the three months to Dec. 31 2011, compared with the same three months a year earlier.

Net profit after tax and impairments was $206 million for the quarter, compared with $144 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

While interest income flat-lined at $1 billion, compared to the same period in 2010, interest expenses of $631 million were significantly lower in the latest quarter than the $680 million recorded the December quarter of the previous financial year. That left net interest income of $369 million, compared with $347 million in the prior comparable period.

The figures were issued in the quarterly disclosure statements required by the banks, as a condition of holding banking licences in New Zealand.

Total non-interest income helped to the result, with increases in all areas other than gains on ineffective hedges, so that total income from these sources was $145 million, compared to $121 million, putting net operating income before tax and impairments at $514 million in the December 2011 quarter, compared with $468 million in the same period a year earlier.

Loan impairments were also down, at $21 million for the latest reported quarter, compared with $58 million in the December 2010 quarter and total impairments for the year to Sept. 30 2011 of $226 million.

At the end of the quarter, gross loans outstanding totalled $58.7 billion, of which $2 billion were recorded as “past due”. Of these loans, $1.4 billion were less than 30 days in arrears, and another $276 million was at least 90 days overdue.

Impaired home loans at the beginning of the December 2011 quarter totalled $195 million, and this figure fell to $179 million by the end of the quarter. Additions of $59 million and write-offs of $8 million were offset by $67 million of loans returning to “performing” status or repaid.


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