(Adds that bank missed estimates, details of provisions, dividend, CEO quote)
Feb 7 (Reuters) - Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the countrys biggest mortgage lender, posted a decline in first-half cash-profit from continued operations on Wednesday, missing expectations, as it took a provision for regulatory and compliance costs.
The banks profit for the six months ended Dec. 31 slipped 2 percent to A$4.74 billion ($3.74 billion) from the same period last year, contrasting with an anticipated 5 percent rise in profit according to seven analysts polled by Reuters.
The bank said it booked a A$375 million expense to pay civil penalties related to money laundering charges and a A$200 million provision for further expected costs related to regulatory, compliance and remediation programs.
"We have taken a significant provision for regulatory and compliance costs, consistent with accounting standards," outgoing Chief Executive Ian Narev said in a statement.
Narev, who has led CBA since 2011, announced his retirement last year amid mounting calls for his resignation following allegations in a federal lawsuit that CBA had overseen tens of thousands of breaches of anti-money laundering rules.
CBA shares have shed about 19 percent from their 2015 peak.
It declared an interim dividend of A$2 a share, up one Australian cent from a year ago.
The banks net interest margin, the difference between interest costs and interest earned and a key gauge of profitability, rose 6 basis points to 2.16 percent during the period. ($1 = 1.2682 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Jane Wardell and Hugh Lawson)