South Africa’s FirstRand H1 profit up on auto finance boost

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South Africa’s biggest lender by value, FirstRand, reported a 14 percent rise in half-year profit on Thursday, helped by a strong showing at its auto finance unit.

FirstRand said headline EPS totalled 212 cents in the six months ended December, compared with 185 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, which strips out certain one-off items, is the main measure of profit in South Africa.

Wesbank, its auto finance business, posted a 9 percent rise in earnings, outpacing a 2 and 3 percent growth in retail and investment banking units, respectively, FirstRand said.

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Sunil Nair)