Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has posted a cash profit of A$4.91bn for the first half of the 2017 financial year, a 2% rise compared to A$4.81bn for the same period in the previous financial year.

Operating income for the half year ended 31 December 2016 stood at A$13.12bn, a 6% increase from A$12.36bn in the last year.

The group’s net interest income increased 4% to A$8.74bn from A$8.42bn the year ago. Operating expenses increased 9% year-on-year to A$5.67bn.

The bank’s common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital was 9.9% at the end of 2016, down from 10.2% in the prior year.

The bank's retail banking services segment reported a cash profit of A$2.46bn for the half year ended 31 December 2016, a 9% increase compared to A$2.27bn in the prior comparative period.

CBA CEO Ian Narev said: “We have maintained our commitment to our long term strategy. We have invested carefully but consistently over many years, leading to ongoing revenue and balance sheet growth, and continuous innovation for our customers. At the same time, our emphasis on productivity has ensured that expense growth is fit for the times.”