NAB half-year profit down 15.5%

National Australia Bank reported a 15.5% fall in profit for the half-year ending March 31.

NAB’s statutory profit dropped to $2.05 billion for the half year, compared with a profit of $2.4 billion in the previous corresponding period.

In a statement to the ASX, the banking giant says it expects the global outlook to remain challenging, and predicts the “multi-speed” economy in Australia will continue.

“This was a solid result, particularly considering the increasingly difficult operating conditions for UK banking during the period.”

“Challenging economic conditions, subdued credit growth, and a full regulatory agenda presented challenges across the industry,” the bank said.

It cited its underperforming operations in the United Kingdom as one of the reasons for the fall in profit.

Revenue rose 3.5% to $9.1 billion, up from $8.8 billion in the previous corresponding period.

The bank said its 2012 interim dividend will be 90 cents, franked to 100% at the company tax rate of 30%, and be payable July 16.

NAB shares were down 0.45% to $24.50 at 10.30am AEST on the news.

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