Bank of Queensland announced a $268 million increase in half-year revenue and will pay shareholders a 22¢ interim dividend as the lender continues its integration of superfund-owned ME Bank amid uncertain economic conditions .

The BoQ reported on Thursday that growth in personal loans, businesses and customer deposits contributed to a 14% increase in cash profits in the six months to Dec. 31.

Home loans increased 9% to $2.6 billion, business loans increased 8% to $600 million, and deposit balances increased $1.8 billion during the year. period, contributing to a 38% increase in statutory net profit after tax of $212 million.

George Frazis, Managing Director of the Bank of Queensland.

BoQ acquired ME Bank last July after decades of ownership by industry pension funds. The BoQ said ME Bank’s home loan portfolio returned to the black, growing 2% in the half after falling in the previous two halves.

Chief executive George Frazis said the integration of ME Bank had progressed well in mixed economic conditions.

“Australia remains well-positioned to continue the economic recovery, with low unemployment, strong terms of trade and a significant pipeline of residential and infrastructure construction to be completed,” he said. .

“However, uncertainty remains given geopolitical tensions, high inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain and labor disruptions.”

Digging into the details, the BoQ said its net interest margin – the key measure of profitability – fell 0.12% while the allowance for bad debts was reduced by $15 million in economic conditions. more favorable.

Shareholders will receive the fully franked dividend on May 26, an increase of 29% over the corresponding period.

Frazis said the results demonstrate the bank’s “disciplined execution” of ME Bank’s integration, as well as its digital strategy to move operations to the cloud.

“This was achieved during a time of continued economic uncertainty due to COVID, and at a time of notable change as we begin the integration of ME and enhance our digital capability for customers and our staff,” Frazis said.

“We are on the verge of realizing our bold strategy of creating a true multi-brand, cloud-based digital retail bank.”