17 Feb 2012

Heartland mortgage numbers shrinking

7:18 am on 17 February 2012

Heartland New Zealand's mortgage book has shrunk, as customers with quake-damaged homes in Canterbury repay debt and mull their next move.

But the would-be bank still managed to lift its half year profit from $2 million to $9.8 million in the six months to the end of December.

The result was in line with guidance from the merged group of former building societies, and includes a deferred one-off tax benefit of $6.2 million and four months of results from the recently-acquired PGG Wrightson Finance.

That acquisition boosted the company's net receivables by 23% to $2.1 billion, while the value of its loan book rose 11% to $2 billion.

Business and rural lending rose, but retail deposits and consumer lending fell by 23 million to 979 million.

Chief financial officer Sean Kam says the mortgage book continues to be affected by a competitive environment and the Christchurch quakes.

heartland says achieving its full year after tax profit guidance of between $20 - $22 million will depend on the performance of its rural and business divisions, assuming costs and bad debts remain stable.