Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country's top lender by market value, said its full-year cash profit grew about 12 percent to a record high, matching expectations, on strong growth in loans and lower bad debt provisions.
CBA said cash profit, a key measure of its earnings, rose to A$8.68 billion ($7.99 billion) in the year to June 30, compared with a consensus forecast of A$8.62 billion - from 10 analysts polled by Reuters. The profit was up from A$7.76 billion a year ago.
The bank was "cautiously positive" about the outlook for 2015 financial year with business and consumer confidence remaining fragile, chief executive Ian Narev said in a statement.
CBA's results mark its sixth straight year of record annual profits, with Australia's banking sector benefiting as low interest rates encourage consumers to take out housing and other loans. Mortgage and consumer loans generate 35 percent to 40 percent of earnings in the Australian banking industry.
It declared a final dividend of A$2.18 per share, taking its full-year dividend payout to A$4.01 a share, a 10 percent rise.
Net interest margin - a core measure of profitability - rose 1 basis point to 2.14 percent during the year. The ratio of cash loan impairment expense to gross loans improved 4 basis points due to lower provisions, the bank added.