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Preliminary profit announcement

1 June 2000 |Media centre

Bendigo Bank Group Managing Director Rob Hunt today announced an improved full-year profit outlook for 1999/2000.

Mr Hunt said the full-year result would confirm the Group's continued progress, in terms of both growth and profitability, following the company's successful first-half results.

Bendigo Bank's interim (first-half) operating profit before tax was $19.0 million, a 49.6 per cent increase on the corresponding period last year.

"We said at the time that we faced continued intense competition and margin pressures, but that our Board expected to maintain our first-half profit in the second half.

"The full-year result will demonstrate that a range of initiatives - including Community Bank, our joint venture agribusiness banking project with Elders, electronic banking services and new advisory and trustee services - are all beginning to improve Group revenues."

Mr Hunt also signalled uncertainty about total recovery on a large Asian exposure. "We will apply additional provisions until this uncertainty is resolved.

"This exposure is within the Cassa Commerciale division, previously Monte Paschi Australia Limited, and is the only loan of this type in the Group."

Mr Hunt said Bendigo expected its full-year profit before income tax would exceed $46 million prior to additional provisions for this loan which are likely to be in the range of $8 million to $10 million.

Bendigo's financial year closes on 30 June, with its full profit announcement scheduled for mid-August.

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