ANZ Bank interim net profit up 3%

GMT 00:43 2015 Tuesday ,05 May

Arab Today, arab today ANZ Bank interim net profit up 3%

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Sydney - AFP

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on Tuesday posted a modest first half net profit rise of three percent to Aus$3.5 billion (US$2.7 billion), spurred by growth in both domestic and international operations.

ANZ's cash profit, which strips out one-off and other items and is a measure often preferred by financial institutions, jumped five percent to Aus$3.7 billion in the six months to March 31.

The better-than-expected result came a day after fellow banking giant Westpac disappointed with a flat first-half net profit of Aus$3.61 billion, which sent its shares plummeting.

National Australia Bank reports its interim numbers on Thursday. The nation's biggest company by market capitalisation, Commonwealth Bank, follows a June year-end compared with September for its three competitors.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said he was pleased with the direction the country's most Asian-focused bank was heading, while lifting the six-monthly dividend to 86 cents.

"This is a good, well balanced financial performance with solid progress made in reshaping our business in response to the more challenging macro-environment," he said.

"Our domestic markets in Australia and New Zealand have again delivered strong growth and returns."

Smith said the Melbourne-based bank was focusing on building home lending and commercial businesses in Australia and New Zealand while also working to grow its presence in Asia.

"We are managing expenses carefully, however we have been prepared to accept a slightly higher run rate on costs in the short term where investment can deliver sustainable growth and returns," he said.

"We have directed those investments toward customer technology platforms, growing our geographic footprint in both Australia and Asia, and more customer-facing bankers."

Geographically, ANZ businesses in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and Americas were the standout performer, with profit up 18 percent.

ANZ's Australian division lifted profit eight percent thanks to continued growth in retail and business loans but its New Zealand operations managed only one percent profit growth.

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