NAB nearly doubles cash profit to $3.34bn
National Australia Bank says economic and health outcomes are improving rapidly and the business is improving momentum, as the bank posted a 95 per cent jump in first half cash profit to $3.34 billion.
Excluding large and notable earnings, the interim cash earnings were up 35 per cent, to $3.3bn.
Rounding out the major-bank half-year profit reporting season, NAB, like its rivals, benefited from a sharp turnaround in credit impairments, reporting a writeback of $128m compared to a $1.2bn charge a year ago.
The interim dividend was doubled to 60c.
Chief executive Ross McEwan said the rebound in the Australian and New Zealand economies had been better than expected, making NAB optimistic about the future given the vaccine rollout and better health outcomes.
"But risks do remain," Mr McEwan said.
"The recovery is not even, and some customers such as those in international travel and hospitality, particularly in CBD areas, still face significant challenges.
"Longer term outcomes for these customers depend on a number of factors expected to become clear in coming months.
"These include the impact of JobKeeper ending, timing of the vaccine rollout and the reopening of international borders."
While the economic outlook had improved, Mr McEwan said the sustainability of the recovery was uncertain and the impact on customers was uneven.
NAB had therefore maintained "prudent" collective provisions equal to 1.5 per cent of credit risk-weighted assets.
The bank is the third of the majors to hand down a bumper profit this week.
On Wednesday, ANZ more than doubled its first-half cash profit to $2.98bn, while Westpac's interim cash profit on Monday surged 256 per cent to $3.54bn.
Analysts had tipped NAB to post a cash profit of $3.17bn and an interim dividend of 60c.
Originally published as NAB nearly doubles cash profit to $3.34bn