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National Australia Bank reported a rise in earnings for the six months ended March on the back of improvements in lending and trading revenue.

In its half-year results the bank reported cash earnings – a preferred measure in Australia – of A$3.29bn ($2.443bn), up 2.3 per cent from the same period a year prior and up 1 per cent from the previous six months.

The rise represents an improvement from the first quarter, when the Australian lender reported a year-on-year drop of 1 per cent to A$1.6bn.

The bank credited a 1.8 per cent rise in revenue for the half-year period to growth in lending – particularly housing and businesses loans – as well as better fee collection and trading income.

NAB said charges for bad and doubtful debts fell 7.3 per cent year on year to A$394m, though they were up 5.1 per cent compared to the six months ended September. Its common equity Tier 1 ratio came in at 10.1 per cent, up from 9.5 per cent at the end of the December quarter and above its target range of 8.75-9.25 per cent.

The bank kept its dividend at A$0.99.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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