National Australia Bank Swings to Profit

By Robb M. Stewart Features Dow Jones Newswires

MELBOURNE, Australia--National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB.AU) swung sharply to a first-half profit and said it would hold its interim dividend steady on a year earlier.

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NAB, one of Australia's largest lenders, on Thursday reported a net profit of 2.55 billion Australian dollars (US$1.89 billion) in the six months through March. That compared to a year-earlier loss of A$1.74 billion, when it was hit by charges for spinning off and listing its British banking operations.

Cash earnings--a measure that excludes some gains and costs and is used by Australian banks when calculating dividend payments--rose by 2.3% to A$3.29 billion, in line with the A$3.27 billion median of eight analyst forecasts compiled by The Wall Street Journal.

NAB said it would pay an dividend for the period of A$0.99 a share, flat on last year.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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May 03, 2017 18:30 ET (22:30 GMT)