ASB Bank posts $599m half year net profit

ASB Bank has posted a flat half year result, as a slower economy, restrained lending and low interest rates dented its margins.

The bank's profit for the six months ended December was $599 million, compared with $630m the year before.

However, the result included a $28 million loss on an asset sale.

Chief executive Vittoria Shortt said the result is consistent with a lower growth environment, a cautious business sector and uncertain global outlook.

Lending to consumers and businesses was up slightly but the bank reduced rural lending.

Its bad debts fell, but its costs rose as it invested in new services and technology.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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