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2012 /

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January 25 2012 - IMB Building Society has delivered a solid half-year result in a challenging market, with net profit after tax of $15.1 million for the six months to 31 December 2011, slightly above the result for the same period last year.

IMB Chief Executive, Robert Ryan, said the result was pleasing in a difficult environment that had seen interest margins contracting with the recent interest rate cuts and increased competition from major banks for retail deposits and home loans.

“In a highly competitive market, IMB’s solid performance reflects its strength and stability. We have been able to grow our retail deposit and lending portfolios which, in conjunction with our ongoing focus on operating expenses, has driven profitable growth.”

Mr Ryan said IMB Building Society remained committed to providing better value banking to its members and a number of major investments had been undertaken during the last six months to improve member service and experience.

“In September, we upgraded our internet banking platform and launched our mobile banking website and i-phone application, allowing IMB members to conduct their banking transactions using smartphones and other mobile devices.

“These initiatives followed the opening of two new branches at Gungahlin in the ACT and at the University of Wollongong in the first half of 2011,” Mr Ryan said.

“We have invested in these areas as a direct response to member’s needs. Our mobile and internet banking facilities provide the convenience for transaction banking while the new branches reflect our commitment to personalised face-to-face banking.

“Also, our highly successful trainee program will continue in 2012 with another six trainees commencing with IMB in April, supporting youth employment across our regions.”

IMB’s residential loan book continues to perform exceptionally well, with the level of mortgage arrears below national averages in all categories.

IMB’s liquidity and capital ratios increased over the period and remain well above regulatory requirements. The cost-to-income ratio remained relatively stable at 60.7%.

IMB’s Chairman, Michael Cole, said the Board considered the result to be satisfactory in a challenging period.

“While interest rate decreases have occurred, housing lending growth continues to be subdued by consumer caution. It is expected there will be continued pressure on interest margins over the next half year as credit growth slows and the competition for retail deposits remains,” Mr Cole said.

Mr Cole also advised that a further allocation had been pledged to the IMB Community Foundation in 2012 for sustainable community-based projects, taking the total Community Foundation contributions to more than $6 million since 1999.

As noted in IMB’s 2011 Annual Report, the Board has initiated a broad-based review of IMB’s capital structure options.  This review is being undertaken by IMB’s advisers, Grant Samuel and Watson Mangioni.  The review is well progressed and it is expected it will be finalised in the coming months.

The Board has declared an interim dividend of 10 cents per share fully franked in line with the interim dividend of the previous corresponding period. The dividend will be paid on 28th February, 2012.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Louise Di Francesco

VERVE

(0418) 617 869

                                                    

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Established in 1880, IMB has been helping people achieve their financial goals for 139 years. IMB offers a full range of banking solutions including home and personal lending, savings and transaction accounts, term deposits, business banking, financial planning and can arrange a wide range of insurance and travel products.

IMB has a growing branch network throughout the Illawarra, Sydney, NSW South Coast, the ACT and Melbourne. We have a lending specialist in every branch and a team of mobile lending specialists who will come to you. IMB members enjoy access to free automated phone and internet banking and a team of professionals who are just a phone call away at our locally based call centre.

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