Good news, CommBank shareholders: CBA cash earnings up by 8%

It’s good news for Commonwealth Bank shareholders after the bank posted a statutory net profit after tax (NPAT) of $4,535 million for the half year ending December 31, an 8% increase on the previous six-month period.

CommBank’s cash NPAT also increased by 8% (to $4,623 million), the board said in its 2015 Interim Result, released yesterday.

The profit is the biggest in Australian banking history, bringing CommBank’s annual profit to an expected $9 billion.

On the back of these figures, the board declared a fully franked interim dividend of $1.98, an 8% increase from the 2014 interim dividend. The dividend payout ratio is approximately 70% of cash NPAT, a figure that is in line with 2014’s figures and consistent with the board’s target of paying out between 70% and 80% of cash NPAT to shareholders.

The interim dividend will be paid on April 2, 2015.

Commonwealth Bank Group CEO Ian Narev said the profit could be attributed to the bank’s consistency and reputability.

“This result again demonstrates the benefits of sticking to a consistent strategy for a high quality franchise,” he said.

“Our ongoing focus on long term strategic priorities – people, technology, strength and productivity – continues to benefit our customers, our shareholders, our people and other key stakeholders.”

Narev said the bank’s focus on productivity had delivered a further $300 million of cost savings over the last 12 months.

“We have also maintained the strength of the Group’s balance sheet in terms of capital, liquidity, deposit funding and provisioning,” he said.