5 Nov 2018

Westpac NZ makes billion dollar profit

1:28 pm on 5 November 2018

Westpac New Zealand has outperformed its Australian parent reflecting the bank's gains following a two-year restructuring programme.

A man uses an ATM machine outside a branch of the Westpac bank in Sydney. Generic.

A 6 percent increase in customer deposits contributed to Westpac's billion-dollar profit. Photo: AFP

The New Zealand bank's net profit rose 3 percent to $936 million in the year ended September.

Westpac New Zealand chief executive David McLean said a focus on improving customer service had paid off.

"We have invested significantly over the past three years to enhance services and outcomes for customers and will continue to do so," he said.

The bank's home loans and business lending both grew 4 percent over the past year, with a 6 percent increase in customer deposits.

Cash earnings rose 5 percent to $1.017 billion.

Mr McLean said improvements in the dairy sector greatly reduced its level of bad debts to $3m.

The bank's net interest margin rose 2.15 percent over the year - an increase of 12 basis points.

Westpac Group chief executive Brian Hartzer said the New Zealand result was a standout compared with the group, which faced higher regulatory, compliance and funding costs, and increased competition over the past year.

The Australian group's net profit rose 1 percent to $A8.095b.

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