CM – NAB nearly doubles cash earnings to $ 3.34 billion

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National Australia Bank says economic and health outcomes are improving rapidly and business is picking up momentum as the bank posted a 95 percent increase in cash earnings to $ 3.34 billion in the first half of the year.

Excluding large and notable gains, cash interim profit increased 35 percent to $ 3.3 billion.

Rounding out the major banks’ half-yearly earnings reporting season, NAB, like its peers, benefited from a sharp turnaround in credit crunch. It saw a setback of $ 128 million from a charge of $ 1.2 billion a year ago.

Board chairman Ross McEwan said the recovery in the Australian and New Zealand economies had gone better than expected, making the NAB optimistic about the future given the vaccine launch and better health outcomes.

« The recovery is uneven and some customers such as international travel and hospitality, especially in CBD areas, are still facing major challenges.

« Long-term results for these clients will depend on a number of factors that we plan to see clearly in the months ahead.

« These include the impact of the termination of JobKeeper, the timing of the vaccine introduction and the reopening of international borders. »

While the economic outlook had improved, McEwan said the sustainability of the recovery was uncertain and the impact on customers was uneven.

NAB had therefore retained « prudent » collective provisions amounting to 1.5 percent of credit risk-weighted assets.

The bank is the third of the majors to take a push win this week.

On Wednesday, ANZ more than doubled its first-half cash earnings to $ 2.98 billion, while Westpac’s interim cash earnings rose 256 percent to $ 3.54 billion on Monday.

Analysts had asked NAB to make a cash profit of $ 3.17 billion and an interim dividend of 60 cents.

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