Australia's NAB H1 profit up 4.8 percent, UK restructuring weighs

By | Subscribe to IBTimes's | May 10, 2012 3:58 AM IST

National Australia Bank , the country's top lender by assets, posted a 4.8 percent rise in first-half cash profit, boosted by higher trading and fee income and rising mortgage market share.

But charges related to NAB's bleeding UK operations checked profit growth. The bank said in April it plans cut the size of its UK operations, which comprises over 300 Clydesdale and Yorkshire branches, after deciding it was too hard to sell or expand the business in a depressed market.

NAB, which offers the lowest mortgage rate among its peers in a bid to raise its lagging home-loan market share, said cash profit in the six months to March rose to a record A$2.83 billion (1.76 billion pounds) from A$2.7 billion a year ago.

Six analysts on average expected NAB to report a cash profit of A$2.82 billion in the first half. NAB last week said its unaudited first-half cash profit was A$2.82 billion.

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Cash profit, a measure that excludes one-offs and non-cash accounting items, is closely watched by investors.

(Reporting by Amy Pyett; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Tim Dobbyn)

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