Macquarie Plans Share Buyback After Jump in 1st Half Profit

By Robb M. Stewart Features Dow Jones Newswires

MELBOURNE, Australia--Macquarie Group Ltd. said it aimed to buy back up to 1 billion Australian dollars (US$766.1 million) of its shares following a 19% jump in first-half net profit, driven by growth in its annuity-style businesses.

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Net profit rose to A$1.25 billion in the six months through September from US$1.05 billion the year before, the Sydney-based company said.

Operating income increased 3.4% to A$5.4 billion from A$5.22 billion.

The investment bank and asset manager last month said stronger performance fees were expected to lift its half-year profit, although it continued to expected its profit for the full year would be broadly in line with the prior year's record A$2.22 billion.

Macquarie plans to pay an interim dividend of A$2.05 a share, up from the A$1.90 paid last year.

With the release of its results, Macquarie said it former Reserve Bank of Australia Gov. Glenn Stevens would join its board at the start of November. Mr. Stevens led the central bank between 2006 and 2016, a period covering the global financial crisis and the boom in mining investment in Australia.

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The bank also said Alex Harvey, currently head of principal transactions at Macquarie Capital, would take over as chief financial officer and replace Patrick Upfold, who will succeed Stephen Allen as chief risk officer when he steps down at the end of the year.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2017 18:04 ET (22:04 GMT)