Bendigo and Adelaide bank has lifted first-half cash profit 10.7 per cent to $225.3 million in a performance boosted by mortgage rate rises and an increase in residential lending.
The lender on Monday said cash profit for the six months to December 31 rose from $203.5 million in the prior corresponding period, with investor and interest-only home loan repricing helping lift net interest margin 0.1 percentage points over the half to 2.36 per cent.
The improvement in net interest margin was even more marked compared to the prior corresponding period – up 0.18 percentage points – and was at 2.38 per cent at the end of the reporting period.
Managing director Mike Hirst said that while rate rises reflected regulatory requirements to limit interest-only and investor lending, total housing lending was 1.3 per cent higher than a year earlier – with owner-occupier principal and interest lending up 13 per cent.
“The bank experienced strong growth in loans to home owner occupiers in an environment where competition for those customers remains fierce,” Mr Hirst said.
Net profit rose 10.9 per cent to $231.7 million and Bendigo raised its interim dividend one cent to 35 cents, fully franked.
UBS analysts said strong margin management was the highlight of a result that narrowly missed consensus forecasts.
Bendigo shares closed down 23 cents, or 2.1 per cent, at $11.00
BENDIGO’S FIRST HALF
* Cash profit up 10.7pct to $225.3m
* Net profit up 10.9pct to $231.7m
* Total income up 5.9pct to $842.9m
* Interim dividend up one cent to 35 cents, fully franked