National Australia Bank (NAB) has posted cash earnings of A$3.32bn for the first half-2015, an increase of an increase of A$170m or 5.4% compared to the year ago period.
On a statutory basis, net profit attributable to owners of the bank was A$3.44bn, an increase of 20.4% from the first half of fiscal year 2014.
The lender also revealed that it would raise A$5.5bn (US$4.4bn) as it looks to demerge and float its troubled British unit, which includes Yorkshire and Clydesdale bank branches.
A demerger will accelerate the bank’s full exit of the UK business, as opposed to a prolonged multi-staged public market sell-down allowing the exit to be targeted by the end of the calendar year 2015.
The bank said: "While remaining open to a trade sale, we intend to pursue a public market option of a demerger of approximately 70-80% of Clydesdale Bank’s holding company National Australia Group Europe and its subsidiaries (Listco) to NAB shareholders and a sale of the balance by way of IPO (approximately 20-30%) to institutional investors."
NAB group CEO Andrew Thorburn said: "In relation to exiting our UK Banking business, we have been examining a broad range of options including those provided by public markets. It is a priority to exit this business, and we are today announcing our intention to pursue a demerger and IPO of the UK Banking business."
The bank has also confirmed that its chairman Michael Chaney will retire at the bank’s annual general meeting this year. He will be replaced by former Commonwealth treasury secretary Ken Henry, who joined the NAB board in 2011.