Westpac reprots strong results
Westpac Group today announced cash earnings of $6,598 million for the 12 months to 30 September 2012, up 5% compared to the same period last year.
Cash earnings of $6,598 million, up 5%; cash earnings per share of 215.9 cents, up 3%; final fully franked dividend of 84 cents per share; total dividend 166 cents, up 6%; revenue up 6%, ahead of expense growth of 4%; statutory net profit of $5,970 million, down 15%, as previous year benefited from one-off St.George tax consolidation; return on equity of 15.5%; net interest margin 5bps lower at 2.17%. expense to income ratio improved 70bps to 40.8%.
Strengthened balance sheet, including customer deposit to loan ratio up 5 per- centage points to 67.6% and liquid assets boosted to $110 billion. Statutory net profit was lower over the year principally as a result of a large one-off tax benefit from St.George tax consolidation that was reported in the 2011 full year result. Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer Gail Kelly said: "This is a strong result in a lower growth economic environment, and it reflects the progress we have made over the past five years in building a stronger, more productive and more customer focused company.
We have strengthened our balance sheet while delivering attractive returns to shareholders and investing for future growth. Our performance, particularly in the second half, demonstrates that we have increasing momentum across our businesses. Our disciplined approach to productivi- ty has improved customer service and increased efficiency. Importantly, we continue to be the most efficient Australian bank, with an expense to income ratio down to 40.8%. Mrs Kelly said a highlight of the result was the strong performance of the new Australian Financial Services division (AFS), which includes the Australian retail banking, business banking and wealth operations.
Westpac Institutional Bank's strong growth in core earnings2 reflects its industry leadership and strength in relationship management, including supporting its customers in what continue to be volatile times. Westpac New Zealand is also performing strongly with significant front-line investment and improving credit quality supporting a 22% increase in cash earnings compared to prior year.