National Australia Bank Ltd. reports: 5 things you need to know

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX:NAB) this morning reported its half-year results for the period ended 31 March 2016.

Here are five things you need to know from National Australia Bank Ltd’s first half report:

  1. A statutory net loss of $1.74 billion was declared, down 150%
  2. Revenue rose 4.5% to $8.96 billion
  3. Excluding losses associated with Clydesdale Bank aka CYBG PLC CDI 1:1 (ASX: CYB), profits would have been down 2.4% while on a cash basis – the preferred measure among some analysts – profits were up 6.5% to $3.31 billion
  4. A dividend of 99 cents per share was declared, unchanged from last year
  5. The bank said it is considering a new ASX-listed capital security to help boost its balance sheet

This is our first result squarely focused on our Australian and New Zealand business,” NAB CEO, Andrew Thorburn, said. “It shows that delivering against our strategic priorities is producing results and laying the foundations for sustainable growth and returns.

Mr Thorburn said the recent implementation of the net promoter score (NPS) was showing results while the bank remains focused on improving its technology offering.

Good progress has been made improving the customer experience by enhancing our technology and digital offerings, as well as process improvements which make it easier for customers to deal with us.

Pleasingly, provisions for bad loans fell 6% during the half.

NAB’s Australian Banking division was again a strong performer, delivering a 5% rise in cash earnings over the prior corresponding period. The bank said the result reflected stronger lending volumes and improved margins.

The bank’s cash return on equity (ROE) came in at 14.1%, down from 15.8% in the prior period.

Looking ahead, Mr Thorburn said the bank is focused on generating higher shareholder returns with a simpler and stronger business. “We are focused on improving returns in our Australian and New Zealand businesses and, while there is still more work to do, we have made good progress against our agenda,” he said.

Foolish takeaway

Compared to the results of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) earlier in the week, NAB’s underlying cash profits appear quite good. Investors will be pleased to see the back of Clydesdale Bank, following its troubled history in the UK. And keeping its dividend of 99 cents per share fully franked will also please income seeking investors.

However, those looking to buy NAB for its dividend must also consider the long-term risks and health of the business before buying in, as always.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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