31 Oct 2013

BNZ records strong Q4 net profit

12:27 pm on 31 October 2013

The Bank of New Zealand more than trebled its fourth quarter net profit, largely because of non-cash improvements in the value of its financial assets.

The bottom line increase to $159 million came despite its charges against profit for bad debts nearly doubling to $34 million for the three months to September.

The latest quarter's result took annual net profit to $695 million, up nearly 20% on the previous year.

Chief executive of the bank Andrew Thorburn says cash earnings for the year were up 6.3% and that he's pleased with BNZ's progress in an environment of intense competition.

Mr Thorburn says BNZ - which is owned by National Australia Bank - grew customer deposits by 11.6% in the year and, based on Reserve Bank figures, that gives it a near 20% share of that market.

Mr Thorburn says the bank's agribusiness division grew its market share strongly.

Average lending volumes in all categories rose by 5.6% in the year with lending on housing growing nearly 4%.

The bank's expenses rose nearly 4% largely because of increased investment in technology.