The recovering property sector in Western Australia has helped to drive credit union Community CPS Australia to a $13.1 million first-half net profit.
The credit union said the result exceeded its own expectations, with deposits rising 2.8 per cent, new lending up 4.6 per cent and total assets growing 3.1 per cent to $3.7 billion in the six months to the end of December 2012.
Contributing to the result was the credit union’s WA arm, United Community, where overall business grew 6.5 per cent and new loan funding increased 7.9 per cent, with the loan portfolio growing 7.2 per cent on the back of the recovering housing market.
United Community state manager Michelle Coelho said the credit union had worked hard to differentiate its member value proposition in a crowded WA marketplace and this had underpinned overall business growth.
“We’re also operating in an overall strong economy where the population is growing, sparking housing shortages and rents to rise,” she said.
“The housing market is showing good signs of recovery, particularly among first homebuyers, investors and change up buyers, and that’s pushing the median house price up 5.6 per cent from December 2011 to December 2012.
“The outlook remains positive for 2013 and we anticipate this will result in continued lending growth.”
In comparison to the prior corresponding period’s result, the latest half-year result is down by $1.1 million.
Chief executive Robert Keogh said the lower interim profit was partly due to the credit union’s commitment to investing in its strategy to underpin its future, which included a new fees and charges structure, and the potential expansion of its South Australian operations following the proposed merger with Alliance One Credit Union.