16 Feb 2011

Westpac NZ helps boost Australian bank's profit

7:30 am on 16 February 2011

Westpac's improving performance has helped its parent in Australia lift its first quarter cash profit.

Westpac Group, Australia's third-largest lender, has reported a 5% increase in cash earnings over the last two quarters of 2010, averaging $AUS1.5 billion.

Westpac says its New Zealand division has futher improved its performance and has good momentum, which has assisted the group's returns.

However it also says New Zealand lending was relatively flat.

Westpac New Zealand chief executive George Frazis says the bank's strategy for growth is paying off.

He says he plans to meet with businesses around New Zealand to find out how Westpac can help them grow faster.