Westpac profit jumps 14%
Australian banking giant Westpac yesterday posted a 14 percent jump in full-year net profit with all core divisions performing well, capping a bumper year for the country’s major lenders. The result in the 12 months to Sept. 30 came in at A$6.82 billion (US$6.44 billion), compared with A$5.97 billion the previous year. Cash earnings — the measure more closely watched by analysts, which strips out volatile items — were up 8 percent at A$7.10 billion, slightly better than expectations, with its share price lifting 0.41 percent to A$34.72 in early trade.
HSBC’s Q3 profit up 30%
HSBC Holdings PLC said third-quarter pretax profit rose 30 percent as the lender cut costs and focused on its most lucrative markets. Pretax profit rose to US$4.53 billion from US$3.48 billion in the year-earlier period, the London-based lender said in a statement yesterday. Chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver said in May that he will cut an additional US$3 billion of expenses after beating an earlier target with the closing or sale of 60 businesses and the elimination of 46,000 jobs since the start of 2011. The bank has struggled to boost revenue that has been crimped by the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe, the winding down of its US consumer-finance operation and slower growth in China this year.
Ryanair profit set to fall
Ryanair’s annual profit is set to fall for the first time in five years as intense competition in Europe pushes average fares down by around 10 percent over the winter months, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers said yesterday. The Irish budget carrier cut its profit forecast further for its current financial year ending in March to about 510 million euros (US$688 million) from 570 million euros. Chief financial officer Howard Millar said passenger numbers were stable and on-board spending was growing, but that people were only booking discount fares, a sign Europe may not be recovering as quickly as many people hoped.
Horlick plans Web site
London businesswoman Nicola Horlick is planning to start a crowdfunding business named Money&Co early next year that would help businesses to source financing directly from investors, bypassing banks. Horlick will become chief executive officer of the business that will operate as a Web site, Money&Co said in a statement, distributed via e-mail by MHP Communications. “It is a smarter way for businesses to get the capital they need and for people to get a better return on their cash,” Horlick said in the statement. “At the moment, banks are not doing enough for credit-worthy businesses.”
Kirin eyes rest of San Miguel
Kirin Holdings Co is interested in buying the rest of San Miguel Brewery Inc if approached, a person with knowledge of the matter said, after the Philippine beermaker revealed several bidders are vying for the shares. Kirin, which holds about 48 percent of the brewer and is Japan’s biggest drinks maker, is not in talks with co-owner San Miguel Corp, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The Japanese company would consider a deal should San Miguel offer to sell its 51 percent stake to Kirin, the person said.