NAB (ASX:NAB) ups final dividend on $6.56bn earnings

NAB (ASX:NAB) has more than doubled its final dividend after reporting strong earnings results for the 2021 financial year ending September 30.

The banking giant’s full-year cash earnings rose 76.8 per cent from the prior year to $6.56 billion, while statutory profit climbed to $6.36 billion.

“Our results this year demonstrate we have navigated a challenging environment while delivering better experiences for customers and colleagues, resulting in safe growth across our business,” said chief executive Ross McEwan.

While revenue fell 2.4 per cent and net interest margin dipped 6 basis points to 1.71 per cent, gross loans and advances increased 5.9 per cent, with housing lending up 5.3 per cent and non-housing lending up 6.6 per cent.

The bank’s figures were also driven by expenses that fell 13.2 per cent, and a reduction in the provision for bad loans of $217 million, compared to the $2.8 billion charge from the prior year. The credit impairment write-back reflects the improving asset quality across both housing and business lending combined with impact of higher housing prices and low specific charges, according to NAB. 

“Our strategy is achieving results. While there is still much to do, I am encouraged by our progress as we execute with discipline and focus. Over the year, customer and colleague engagement scores increased, and we extended our market leadership in SME business with lending growth of 7 per cent, well ahead of system.”

“Our bank has momentum, our strategy is clear and as lockdown restrictions ease, a pick-up in activity is expected. While some uncertainties exist in the outlook including the impact of tapering support, our balance sheet settings are strong and we are well positioned for the expected economic rebound in Australia and New Zealand.”

NAB declared a final dividend of $0.67 cents per share, beating market expectations, which has also more than doubled from the $0.30 cents paid a year ago. This took the full-year dividend to $1.27 per share.

Shares in National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) are trading 2.6 per cent lower at $28.35.