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UDC lifts first-half profit 8% on more car loans, forestry lending

UDC Finance, the finance company owned by ANZ Bank New Zealand, lifted first-half profit 8 percent as it grew lending in car loans and forestry.

Net profit rose to $25.7 million in the six months ended March 31 from $23.8 million a year earlier, the Wellington-based lender said in a statement. The finance company grew new lending $89 million, or 16 percent, without providing details of the size of its loan book. Those gains were driven by a 53 percent gain forestry lending and a 70 percent increase in new car lending. The lender shrunk its cost-to-income ratio, a measure of its margins, by 7 percent, it said without being more specific.

"We are now seeing pent up demand for assets being converted into decisions to invest in vehicles, plant and equipment," chief executive Tessa Price said.

According to its 2013 annual report, the lender's loan book was $2.07 billion as at Sept. 30, with $374.3 million in agriculture, forestry and fishing, $387.4 million in transport and storage loans, and $282.4 million in construction lending.

The ANZ-backed finance company is one of the few survivors from the sector collapse through the second half of last decade. Earlier this month, its Auckland-based parent posted a 27 percent gain in first-half cash profit to $887 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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