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Share price slides after Bendigo and Adelaide Bank announces $524 million profit

Business

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has announced a statutory net profit of $524 million for the 2020-21 financial year, up from $192.8 million in FY20.

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However, the bank’s share price fell sharply following this morning’s announcement, down more than 9 per cent in the first 90 minutes of trade on the Australian Securities Exchange to be $10.08 at 11am from its opening quote of $11.10.

Total lending for the year increased by 10.6 per cent for the year to $72.2 billion with residential lending up 14.8 per cent.

The figures were bolstered by a 36.8 per cent increase in lending applications for the year.

On the other side of the ledger, total deposits were up 15.2 per cent to $78 billion.

Total income was up 4.5 per cent to $1.7 billion.

A significant portion of the 172 per cent increase in statutory net profit was as a result of a $150 million fall in bad and doubtful debts.

The bank recorded just $18 million worth of bad and doubtful debts in 2020-21 compared with $168.5 million in 2019-20.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank managing director and CEO Marnie Baker said the bank had delivered on its plans to increase customer numbers and market share in lending and deposits.

She said the number of customers choosing to bank with the company in the year was up 9.6 per cent to 2.06 million.

“As many Australians and the economy faced another challenging and disruptive year, our important role of supporting customers and communities became even more apparent,” Baker said in a statement to the ASX.

“The number of customers on deferral arrangements from the latest COVID-19 induced lockdowns remains modest and our strong capital position ensures we are well positioned to manage through the pandemic.”

Earnings were up across the bank’s Consumer (9 per cent), Business (29 per cent) and Agribusiness (28.3 per cent) divisions.

Baker said favourable agricultural conditions supported the strong performance of the bank’s agribusiness division while the business banking division grew its share of the SME market and achieved total customer growth of 3.5 per cent.

“Even though we face a historic low interest rate environment, which continues to place pressure on our margins, we will continue to take advantage of strong customer lending demand across our consumer, business and agribusiness divisions,” she said.

“While we expect the housing and employment markets to grow nationally – as well as the economic expansion of regional Australia – we remain cautious of the potential impacts of further pandemic induced lockdowns, a slower than initially anticipated vaccine rollout and take-up, international trade sentiment and the continuing effects of natural disasters and climate change.”

Adelaide and Bendigo Bank also used this morning’s results statement to announce the acquisition of Melbourne-based fintech Ferocia for up to $116 million “to further accelerate the bank’s digital strategy and shape the future of banking for a new generation of customers”.

The bank has partnered with Ferocia for more than nine years to deliver its e-banking app and internet banking platform. In 2018 it also collaborated with Ferocia to launch Up, Australia’s first mobile-only digital bank platform.

“Powered by technology-led customer experience design and an internationally experienced team, the acquisition brings outstanding digital and technical expertise to the bank, internalising Ferocia’s market-leading capability and consolidating ownership of Up,” Baker said.

“We will continue to support the innovation the Ferocia team has delivered over the last nine years with Up remaining as the same brand, run by the same people with the same customer proposition.”

The bank’s board has declared a final dividend of 26.5 cents per share, taking the fully-franked final year dividend to 50 cents per share.

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