30 Oct 2014

BNZ profits rise in year to end of Sept

1:17 pm on 30 October 2014

The Bank of New Zealand's profits jumped more than 22 percent, in the year ended September.

BNZ said the result represented solid underlying performance in a competitive environment.

Net profit rose to $850 million, compared to $695 million in the previous 12 months.

Annual cash earnings, or underlying profit, rose a more modest 2.4 percent.

BNZ Chief executive Anthony Healy, who was appointed to that role in May, said a focus had been on helping customers repay debt and increase savings over the long-term.

BNZ customers with home-loans have been given the option to increase repayments every year to cut their interest bill.

Mr Healy said the bank's agribusiness grew strongly, as did its home loans business.

Deposits also grew strongly, rising nearly 11 percent.

He said BNZ's Kiwisaver scheme, started 18 months ago, had grown the fastest in the market to $376 million in funds under management at the end of September.

The bank's parent company, National Australia Bank, reported a 1 percent drop in profit for the year to $5.3 billion Australian dollars.

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