Westpac unveils $4bn cash profit

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Prime Minister Turnbull is ‘disappointed’ by Westpac’s decision no to support the Adani mine in Queensland.

Westpac has reported an interim cash profit of almost $4.02 billion. Picture: Keryn Stevens

WESTPAC has reported an interim cash profit of $4.017 billion in what CEO Brian Hartzer has called a “complex” banking environment.

The profit result was up three per cent of the half and in-line with market expectations as mortgage lending grew by six per cent.

Westpac, whose shares have already fallen four days in a row along with those of its big four rivals, has the second largest share of the Australian mortgage market after Commonwealth Bank.

RELATED: ANZ posts $3.4 billion half-yearly profit

Westpac Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer. Picture: AAP

Westpac Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer. Picture: AAPSource:News Corp Australia

“This is a solid result given the current complex operating environment,” Mr Hartzer said.

“We have been disciplined in balancing growth and returns with cash earnings up 3 per ent over both the previous half and the same period last year.”

ANZ and National Australia Bank released their first-half results last week — the former missing analyst expectations and the latter beating them — and shares in both dropped amid concern that the Australian housing market may have peaked and that credit growth is slowing.

UBS analyst Jon Mott expects revenue to rise by about 2.5 per cent, but says net interest margin could fall slightly after Westpac lifted term deposit rates after the most recent Reserve Bank rate cut.

CBA, which in February lifted its first-half cash profit 2.1 per cent to $4.9 billion, will issue a third-quarter trading update on Tuesday.

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