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Australian Commonwealth Bank posts $3.8bn half-year profit

Australia's Commonwealth Bank has posted a $3.8 billion half-year profit, which indicates an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year's results.

The cash profit, a measure banks use to reflect underlying performance, increased in the final six months of 2013 despite subdued economic conditions.

The company handed shareholders an interim dividend of $1.66 per share.

Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev said that the outlook for the Australian and the wider global economy is still cautious. He explained the bank will continue to maintain a strong balance sheet with high levels of capital and provisioning.

Mr Narev said: “We have seen, in recent weeks, that there is still volatility in global markets. The risks presented by that volatility continue to suppress business confidence.”

The bank’s net profit, which includes one-off financial items, was $3.8 billion, up 16 per cent from $3.2 billion in the previous year.

By Tony Aynsley