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Suncorp growth steady but profitable

Suncorp growth steady but profitable

(1 March 2006 – Australia) Queensland based Suncorp grew its banking division by 16.4 percent for the six months to December 2005, posting a before tax profit of A$255 million. Suncorp pointed to steady net interest margins, containment of operating costs and low bad debt write offs as reasons for the solid performance.

The banking division grew its overall lending by 11.9 percent with "good increases" in both home and business lending. Retail deposits grew 12.6 percent to A$13.6 billion.

Suncorp chief executive John Mulcahy said although lending was below system growth the bank was focusing on profitable growth and had carefully managed the price and volume mix of its lending book.

"You can see this in our strong revenue and margin performance for the period, but we also continued to focus on cost savings initiatives thereby further improving our efficiency," Mulcahy said.

"We have put ourselves in a very solid position to react to market pressures going forward," he said.

Suncorp said it reduced its cost to income ratio to 45.5 percent over the period.

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