CBA posts record A$7.1b profit
The Commonwealth Bank, Australia's largest bank by market value and owner of New Zealand's ASB Bank, has reported a full-year profit of A$7.09 billion ($9.24 billion).
The annual profit, a record for an Australian bank, compared with market expectations of about A$7.15b. A year earlier, the bank posted a profit of A$6.84b.
The bank will pay a dividend of A$1.97 per share for the second half, slightly more than analysts had tipped.
Australia's big four banks are battling weak demand growth for their financial products as wary firms and household opt to repay debt rather than take on new loans.
Even so, the four are likely to come close to reporting full-year profits in the range of the previous year's total of about A$25b as they trim staff and other costs and reduce bad debt provisions.
National Australia Bank yesterday reported an unaudited net profit of A$1.2b and cash profit of A$1.4b for the June quarter, slightly less than analysts had expected.
The ANZ is due to report its June quarter trading update on Friday.
Commonwealth Bank shares are up almost 13 per cent in 2012, prior to today, more than double the 5.8 per cent increase of the ASX200 share index. That increase compares with 18 per cent for Westpac, 5.7 per cent for NAB and ANZ's 16 per cent.