Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy told today’s Annual General Meeting that the merger with Home Building Society was a major step forward in building a genuine national network which would take the fight to the big banks.
His comment came as BOQ Chairman of 12 years Neil Roberts announced to the AGM his pending retirement from the Board.
Mr Liddy said the Home merger, which received more than 94% support from Home shareholders last week, and the strong demand for the $150m capital raising through the issue of Perpetual Equity Preference Shares were excellent indicators of the bank’s continued growth.
Mr Liddy said the merger would bring BOQ to a market capitalisation of approximately $2.7 billion, just outside the ASX Top 100.
“Bank of Queensland has come a long way in the last five or six years and the recent mergers with Home and Pioneer along with our incredible organic growth have brought about a dramatic increase in our size and reach as a big small bank,” Mr Liddy said.
“BOQ has almost 270 branches including 152 in Queensland, 52 in New South Wales, 23 in Victoria and 34 currently in WA along with branches in every other State and Territory. With the Home and Pioneer mergers we now have more than 650,000 customers,” he said.
“We intend to continue to build on this platform with more organic growth and strategic acquisitions to continue to deliver the best growth in lending and deposits in the country.”
BOQ recorded a record headline profit after tax of $129.8 million for the 2006/07 financial year, an increase of 40% on last year and NPAT of $106.1 million (excluding one-off items), an increase of 22% on last year.
The result came on the back of growth in loans under management of 27% (1.7 times the banking system) and retail deposits of 33% (3.7 times the banking system) compared to last year with the cost-to-income ratio dropping from 64.5% to 62.6%.
BOQ Chairman Neil Roberts told the AGM that BOQ was in great shape as he announced that he would retire from the Board over the next 12 months.
“I will leave the Bank in the knowledge that it is in excellent hands and in great shape as an important and growing Queensland institution. I have been extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as the Chairman of its Board for the last 12 years,” Mr Roberts said.
“This has been a remarkable and successful year. Shareholders have enjoyed a 17% growth in normalised Earnings Per Share (93 cents) and a record full year fully franked dividend of 69 cents, an increase of 12 cents, or 21% compared with last year,” he told the meeting.