By Alice Uribe 
 

SYDNEY--National Australia Bank Ltd. said profit in its fiscal first quarter remained the same as the year-ago quarter as expenses edged lower.

NAB, one of the country's major banks, recorded an unaudited net profit of 1.70 billion Australian dollars (US$1.32 billion) in the December quarter. No comparable figure was disclosed, but it compares with a profit of A$1.70 billion reported by the bank in last year's first quarter.

Cash earnings, a measure of profit adjusted for fair value and hedging movements and is the basis for calculating dividend payouts, was A$1.65 billion for the quarter.

This was 47% higher than the quarterly average for the second half of fiscal 2020, primarily driven by low credit impairment charges, NAB Chief Executive Ross McEwan said.

"At an underlying level performance has been sound in the current competitive, low interest rate environment," he said.

The bank said first-quarter revenue declined by 3%, reflecting lower Markets & Treasury income mainly due to non-repeat of mark-to-market loss reversals in the second half of fiscal 2020, the company said.

Meanwhile, expenses for the period fell by 1% with NAB saying that productivity benefits and lower restructuring related costs were partly offset by provisions for higher performance-based compensation.

The bank said it continues to seek to limit expense growth to 0-2% in the current fiscal year.

 

Write to Alice Uribe at alice.uribe@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 15, 2021 16:42 ET (21:42 GMT)

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