2 Nov 2011

Economic recovery helps boost Westpac profit

1:41 pm on 2 November 2011

Westpac has reported a stronger full year result due to higher income and a fall in bad debt.

Excluding one offs and non cash accounting items the Australian-owned bank made cash earnings of $454 million in the year to September.

The figure is an increase of 41% on the previous year.

The banking sector benefited from the recovery, mainly due to a reduction in money set aside to cover bad debts.

Westpac's credit impairment fell a third to $236 million, while fewer borrowers fell into arrears.

The bank also enjoyed growth in income, lending and deposits.

Net interest income rose 8.1% to $1.3 billion, with higher margins because more people shifted from fixed to higher-margin floating mortgage rates.

Lending rose 3% to $51 billion with growth in mortgage and business loan, while deposits jumped 9% to $33 billion.

Westpac's parent company's annual profit rose 10% to $AUS6.9 billion as bad debts tumbled.