Heartland Bank sees growth in key products and falling funding costs leading it away from troubled legacy property

Heartland Bank sees growth in key products and falling funding costs leading it away from troubled legacy property

By Gareth Vaughan

Heartland Bank is touting strong growth from its "hero products" and falling funding costs as it aims for an about fivefold increase in annual profit.

Heartland, as expected, yesterday posted a 71% fall in annual profit to $6.9 million, after its bottom line was savaged by pre-tax write-downs stemming from its non-core property holdings. It also reiterated June's forecast for June 2014 year net profit after tax of between $34 million and $37 million.

The bank, formed through the merger of Marac Finance, CBS Canterbury and the Southern Cross Building Society two and a half years ago, targets small and medium sized businesses, the rural sector and the retail and consumer sectors. Heartland bought the good loans of rural lender PGG Wrightson Finance in August 2011.

A year ago CEO Jeff Geenslade outlined six "hero products" which he said were attractive due to being high margin and low risk. Heartland yesterday disclosed annual growth figures for its heroes.

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