14 Aug 2013

ASB annual net profit up 3%

7:13 pm on 14 August 2013

ASB says its annual net profit rose 3% to $705 million, although underlying profit was up 12%.

Its wealth and insurance business grew 22% in the year ended June while its net interest margin rose from 2.16% to 2.25%.

Customer deposits grew 6% while operating expenses fell.

Charges against profit for bad loans rose to $56 million compared with $47 million the previous year.

Chief executive Barbara Chapman said the bank's improved performance was against the background of a steadily improving New Zealand economy.

Ms Chapman said more than 400,000 ASB customers now participate in the bank's Kiwisaver scheme which contributed to the strong growth of the wealth and insurance business.

Investment in ASB's Kiwisaver scheme rose 29% to $2.9 billion in the latest year.

Since last month, more ASB customers are using smartphones or tablets to access their bank accounts than those using traditional internet banking.

Ms Chapman said ASB's average cost of new funding has improved as some of the turbulence in global markets has abated.

ASB's parent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, lifted its annual net profit 8% to $A7.78 billion.