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May 4 (Reuters) - National Australia Bank said on Thursday its first-half cash profit rose 2.3 percent, beating analysts' estimates, as the company benefited from growth in lending and stronger trading income.
Cash profit for the six months to end of March rose 2.3 percent to A$3.29 billion ($2.44 billion), compared with A$3.22 billion a year ago.
Analysts on average had estimated net income of A$3.24 billion, according to three surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The country's fourth biggest maintained its interim dividend at 99 cents per share fully franked. ($1 = 1.3473 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates and Sandra Maler)