The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has reported a net profit of A$4.6bn ($3.3bn) for the first half of the 2019 financial year that ended 31 December 2018, a 6% decrease compared to A$4.9bn ($3.5bn) for the previous reporting period.


Image: Commonwealth Bank of Australia reported profit of A$4.6bn ($3.3bn) for H1 2019. Photo: courtesy of Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The operating income of the Commonwealth Bank during the reported period is A$12.4bn ($8.9bn), which is a decrease by nearly 2% compared to the H1 2018 figure of A$12.6bn ($9bn).

The Australian multinational bank said that the decline was due to the volume growth being offset by reduced net interest margin, lower markets and fee income, and also the due to weather events.

Its retail banking services reported a net profit of A$2.2bn ($1.57bn) in H1 2019, which was down 10% compared to A$2.47bn ($1.77bn) in H1 2018 that ended 31 December 2017.

Commonwealth Bank’s business and private banking unit made net profit of A$1.4bn ($1bn) in the current reporting period, which is 3% lesser than the A$1.45bn ($1.04bn) made in the same period in 2017.

Its institutional banking and markets division’s net profit in H1 2019 dropped 5% to A$580m ($414.9m) from the figure of A$608m ($435m) in H1 2018.

In New Zealand, Commonwealth Bank reported a 12% profit at A$539m compared to the profit of A$483m reported last year for the same period.

In its wealth management and international finance services, the multinational bank increased its profits by 17% and 82%, respectively compared to H1 2017. The bank’s wealth management unit brought it a profit of A$136m ($97.3m), while the international finance services division chipped in with a profit of A$118m ($84.4m) in the reported period.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn said: “CBA continued to deliver strong core business outcomes in a challenging period. The highlights included robust transaction deposit growth and strengthened balance sheet resilience with the Bank now above ‘unquestionably strong’ capital requirements.

“We maintained our focus on being best in digital and achieved leading rankings for the CommBank mobile banking app and for digital customer advocacy. We are also on track to deliver a more focused portfolio of businesses in line with our competitive advantages. Our transformation to be a simpler, better bank is well underway.”

The bank said that shareholders will get the same interim dividend payment as last time of A$2 ($1.43) per share.

In June 2018, Commonwealth Bank decided to demerge its wealth management and mortgage broking businesses in order to focus more on its core banking businesses in Australia and New Zealand.