Westpac H1 profit beats expectations

Lender lifts first-half cash profit by 8%, will pay interim dividend of 90c; Kelly upbeat about local economy.

Westpac Banking Corporation's 8% lift in first-half cash profit has beaten analyst expectations as chief executive Gail Kelly says the strength of the housing market and resurgent business confidence are poised to fuel further improvements in the local economy.

In the six months to March 31, Westpac posted a cash profit of $3.77 billion, above both the previous corresponding period's result of $3.51bn and the median analyst expectation of $3.64bn.



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