Westpac reports high profits

Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp announced a 26% increase in its annual profits, which can be attributed to growth in key markets. However, the bank also cautioned that operational challenges would persist into the fiscal year 2024.

In addition to its financial performance, Westpac revealed plans to initiate a share buy-back program valued at A$1.5 billion ($975.60 million).

The bank reported that it had benefited from operational improvements and expansion in crucial markets, including deposits, mortgages, and institutional banking. Notably, Australian lenders have experienced a substantial boost in their profit margins due to a rapid surge in interest rates since May of the previous year.

Nevertheless, the bank faces challenges such as intense competition in the mortgage market, slowing credit growth, and concerns regarding increasing bad debt.

As the fourth-largest lender in Australia in terms of market value, Westpac reported a net profit attributable to A$7.20 billion for the fiscal year ending on September 30, compared to A$5.69 billion the previous year. However, this fell short of the A$7.41 billion estimate from the LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group).

Westpac also declared a final dividend of 72 Australian cents per share, up from 64 Australian cents in the previous year.

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