NAB net profit slumps more than 45pct

One of Australia’s big four banks has reported a 46.7 per cent slump in full-year earnings due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

But National Australia Bank is cautiously optimistic about the future, saying federal government stimulus measures for households and business should “provide a bridge to economic recovery”.

NAB’s bottom line net profit fell to $2.6 billion for the year ended September, compared with $4.8 billion in the previous corresponding period.

Cash earnings – the bank’s usually preferred measure because it includes ongoing operations – declined by 36.6 per cent to $3.7 billion.

Credit impairment charges, which indicate the health of a bank’s lending book, rose by 201 per cent to $2.8 billion.

“Asset quality is starting to deteriorate given economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” NAB said on Thursday.

“While the outlook remains uncertain, further deterioration is expected.”

NAB declared a final dividend of 30 cents per share, taking the total payout for the year to 60 cents per share.

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