Australia's Commonwealth Bank says first-half earnings up 14 pct

Sydney Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:44pm EST

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Sydney Feb 12 (Reuters) - Commonwealth Bank of Australia, , the country's biggest lender by market value, reported a 14 percent rise in first half earnings on Wednesday, beating analyst forecasts as net interest income grew despite ongoing pressure on its margins.

CBA reported cash earnings of A$4.27 billion ($3.86 billion) for the six months to December 31. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had, on average, expected earnings of A$4.15 billion.

Cash earnings, which excludes one-offs and non-cash accounting items, is closely watched by investors. ($1 = 1.1072 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by John Mair)

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