Macquarie confident about first half profit

Macquarie Bank has upgraded the bank's forecast for its profit for the first half, to September 30, based on strong performances from its Australian and international equities businesses offsetting lower performance fees from managed funds. Deputy managing director Richard Sheppard said the investment bank was “confident of exceeding last year's first-half profit result” despite missing out on a $66 million performance fee from one of its specialist funds. Sheppard said that repeating the bank's $252 million second half net profit would be challenging because the result benefited from “very buoyant equity market conditions in Hong Kong and very large profits from asset realisations”. Sheppard said the bank was confident that its annual result would be in line with the $494 million net profit it produced in the year to March 2004.