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Suncorp tips 25 percent underlying profit growth

Suncorp tips 25 percent underlying profit growth

(15 June 2004 – Australia) Queensland based banking and insurance group Suncorp Metway has flagged full year underlying profit growth of "at least" 25 percent. The forecast excludes the A$30 million pre-tax profit from the sale of Suncorp’s stake in ATM company Cashcard.

Suncorp chief executive John Mulcahy said the group’s financial performance over the second half of the year had gone according to plan, and unusual events aside, underlying profit growth for the full year to June 2004 would hit the mid-20 percent range.

"We have made significant operational improvements across the group, and the benefits of those initiatives will be reflected in the full year results, due to be released in August," he said.

Suncorp said both business and housing lending were exceeding system growth rates but that fee income growth had been constrained by reductions in interchange fees and commissions paid to third party originators.

Business lending was healthy due to small business and property sectors but had slowed over the second half of the year.

The company said wealth management profits were slower over the second half of the year because of reduced investment returns. However, it said it was confident of reporting an annual increase in profits of more than 30 percent.

Mulcahy said Suncorp was pleased with its progress to date.

"The results compare favourably with our peers in the marketplace, reflecting the benefits of the group’s integrated financial services strategy."
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