Considerable lift in profit for Heartland

Jeff Greenslade.
Jeff Greenslade.
A large reduction in cash put aside for impaired assets allowed Heartland New Zealand to report a substantially improved profit for the year ended June.

But even the top-line profit of $57.4 million in the period was well ahead of the $36.5 million reported in the previous corresponding period.

The bank allowed just $5.9 million for impaired assets in the period under review compared with $22.5 million in the previous period.

The operating profit soared to $50.3 million compared with $8.9 million in 2013.

The reported profit for the period was $36 million, up from $6.9 million. The company declared a dividend of 6c per share.

Net operating income rose to $122.2 million from $106.9 million.

Heartland has indicated it wants to buy Dunedin-based Motor Trade Finances.

The bank had $3 billion of total assets at balance date, including $2.6 billion of total liabilities.

Chief executive Jeff Greenslade announced an increase in reported profit guidance for the 2015 year of $42 million to $45 million.

''For the next financial year, Heartland is focused on continuing the earnings momentum achieved in 2014 with a specific focus on improving ROE [return on average equity].

"We will continue our product-centric strategy, focusing on higher-yielding products where a market-leading position can be achieved.''

Heartland would continue to investigate potential acquisition opportunities that were ROE-accretive as well as assessing possible capital management options.

Heartland's net tangible assets increased from $331.2 million to $399.9 million, mainly due to the acquisition of the Home Equity Releases mortgage business.

On a per share basis, NTA was 86c at balance date compared with 85c in the previous period.

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