By Alice Uribe

SYDNEY-- National Australia Bank reported a 12% fall in half-year net profit amid ongoing competition in mortgages and announced it will increase its share buyback by 1.5 billion Australian dollars (US$980 million).

Australia's second largest lender by market capitalization said that net profit fell to A$3.49 billion in the six months through March, down from A$3.97 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had expected an interim net profit of A$3.55 billion, according to FactSet's consensus estimate.

Cash earnings--a measure closely tracked by analysts that strips out non-core items such as revenue hedges and treasury shares--fell by 13% on-year to A$3.55 billion.

The bank declared an interim dividend of A$0.84 per share, compared with A$0.83 a year earlier.

NAB's Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio was 12.15%, down from 12.21% the previous year.

Write to Alice Uribe at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-01-24 1842ET