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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Record profits at Macquarie Bank
Macquarie CEO Allan Moss
Macquarie boss Allan Moss has had a good start to the year
Australia's Macquarie Bank has reported record annual profits and said that earnings in the current finanical year had got off to a "very good start".

Net profit was A$916m ($694m, 370m) in the 12 months to 31 March, compared with A$812m a year earlier.

It was the bank's 14th year in a row of record profits, driven by Australia's steady and strong economic growth.

Demand for investment funds, fees from mergers and acquisitions, and share sales boosted profits, the bank said.

Debt talks

The company also is looking to expand abroad, especially in Asia and Europe, where it has been linked to deals with the London Stock Exchange, airport firm BAA and Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel.

"We expect trading businesses to benefit from geographic and product expansion and from continued good equity broking volumes," Chief Executive Allan Moss said in a statement.

"We will continue the roll-out of investment banking services in Asia," he added. "International income will continue to make an increasingly important contribution."

Earlier on Tuesday Eurotunnel confirmed that it was in talks with Macquarie and Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs as part of its efforts to restructure 6bn of its debts ($11bn).

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