Banking News

Profits up 22 percent at St George

Profits up 22 percent at St George

(Australia) – Australia’s fifth ranked St George Bank has posted a strong interim result with net profits for the six months to March up 22 percent. St George’s A$298 million net result included A$27 million in preference share payouts, but still beat most analysts’ forecasts which had ranged as high as A$290 million.

The figure also beat St George’s own estimate of A$261 million.

Strong home mortgage lending, where the bank derives around a fifth of its profits, and effective cost cutting drove the result, which chief executive Gail Kelly said gives St George a platform for full year earnings per share growth of between 11-13 percent, up from the previous estimate of 10 percent.

The bank also achieved its target of getting its cost to income ratio below 50 percent.

Kelly said the revised EPS forecast was dependent on retail deposit growth and the performance of financial markets, including equities.
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