The Australia-based Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX: BEN), incorporated in 1858, provides wide-range of banking and financial services to retail and small to medium enterprises in Australia via segments comprising Consumer division, Business division and Agribusiness division. Some of its services include wealth management, treasury, foreign exchange services, payment, deposit-taking, commercial, residential, and consumer finance services. The company operates through subsidiaries including, 22 Alliance Banks, 15 Delphi Banks, 321 Community Banks, 173 Bendigo Banks, four separate franchise branches, along with 699 ATMs and 210 rural bank points. BEN is Australia’s fifth largest retail bank.
On February 11, 2019, the Bank released its Half Yearly results for the period ended December 31st, 2018, representing a robust performance and increasing customer growth. As per the report highlights, the after-tax statutory profit stood at $ 203.2 million, up 0.2% while the underlying cash earnings remained $ 219.8 million, flat on the prior half. Besides, the cash earnings per share was posted at 45.1 cents, down 0.2% and the fully franked interim dividend was at 35 cents per share, in line with the prior period.
The cash flow statement reflects cash inflows from operating activities at $ 782.5 million (compared to $193.8 million in June half year) and cash outflows from investment-related activities at $ 21.8 million (compared to $15 million in June half year) arising mainly out of payments for the purchase of property, plant and equipment. Also, cash inflows from finance-related transactions stood at $ 132.8 million (compared to outflows of $141.3 million in June half year) pushed up by the proceeds from subordinated debt holders. Overall, the value of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period remained positive at approximately $ 1.96 billion.
The bank informed that their market-leading funding position continued into the period with greater flexibility in fund asset growth and margin management. Amidst disruptions and regulatory alterations, the business performance remained strong with a continued increase in funding derived from retail customers at, a 82.4% rise relative to the previous year’s period.
Furthermore, the report emphasises on impressive financial earnings growth delivered by the Agribusiness division, despite severe drought conditions in several parts of the country. In fact, with efficiently implemented strategies, the bank executives sailed through the phase while engaging with customers in areas affected, assisting them to manage their funds and mitigate future risks. The net cash earnings after tax for this division stood at $ 38.2 million, up by 19.4% relative to the same period last year.
Besides, the consumer division also witnessed strong flows to third-party channels while the lending market remained highly competitive with an annualised growth of 2.7%. In the Business division, some portfolio restructuring occurred by moving away from the exposure from commercial property. The cash earning for this division were posted at $ 31.7 million, up 27.4% concerning the same period last year.
BEN is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with a market capitalisation of AUD 5.45 billion and approximately 488.97 million outstanding shares. With the close of the trading session on Monday, February 11th, 2019, the shares of the company were trading at a market price of AUD 10.390, down 6.82%, indicating an intraday loss of AUD 0.760.
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