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Australia's Westpac Profit Up 8% To Record High

People walk past an <a href=Max Workouts ATM machine of Australian banking giant Westpac in the central business district of Sydney.' style='float:left;padding:5px' /> Australia's Westpac Banking booked a fifth straight year of record profit with an 8 percent rise in full-year cash earnings on robust loan growth and declines in bad debts. Bolstered by a strong fitness focus on mortgage lending, a rapidly growing property market and tight cost controls, three of Australia's "Big Four" banks have notched up five consecutive years of record income in current earnings season. "Housing credit growth has increased over 2014 and we expect growth at similar levels to continue through 2015, driven by strong demand and continued low interest rates," Chief Executive Gail Kelly said in a statement. Kelly said there were signs of improving prospects for non-mining investment and expected a moderate pick-up in business credit growth. The nation's No. 2 lender by value said cash profit was A$7.6 billion ($6.64 billion), meeting the average forecast from seven analysts polled by Reuters. Revenues rose 7 percent in the year.
More: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102144470

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