Heartland Group, owner of reverse mortgage specialist Heartland Bank, has recorded a net profit after tax of $73.6 million for FY19 – a 9% increase on last year’s $67.5 million.
Lending growth increased by 10.7%, with New Zealand reverse mortgages up by 11.4% ($52 million). Australian reverse mortgages also lifted by $163 million, or 24%, and return on equity was unchanged from the last financial year at 11.1%.
Heartland Group says its strategy for the year ahead will emphasise a focus on niche markets, where it will aim to provide the best or market-exclusive products to its depositors and borrowers. It says it also expects to see strong continued growth in its New Zealand reverse mortgages business and small business lending, and it will continue a “managed reduction” of its business and rural relationship lending.
"Investment in growth will be made to build awareness for reverse mortgages in Australia and New Zealand, and O4B (Open for Business, an online small business lending platform), and to increase processing capacity in the areas of new growth,” the Group stated.
"Some of these costs are anticipated to be one-off and will contribute to growth beyond FY2020.
"Additional investment is also planned in Finance and Compliance reflecting increased regulatory requirements and heightened demands in these areas."
The Group stated back in February that its corporate restructure would also form a key part of its strategy, and would offer more flexibility to take advantage of future growth opportunities.
As part of its ongoing activities, Heartland Bank also joined the non-bank speed date event set up by a group of specialist lenders last year. The event seeks to present the rapidly growing specialist lending sector to mortgage advisers across New Zealand, and has been very well received by the adviser sector since its inception.