ANZ declares half year cash profit of $3.7 billion

ANZ has declared a half year cash profit of $3.7 billion, which is a little ahead of what analysts were predicting. The news of the bank’s net profit growth of 3% comes right after Westpac announced a flat net profit of $3.6 billion, for the first half, which remained unchanged from the same period last year. The bank also reported a 4% increase in the interim dividend to 86 cents a share.

ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said that the domestic markets in Australia and New Zealand have delivered strong growth and returns.

“We are investing heavily in areas of future profitability, particularly for our Australian business. This includes a focus on key segments such as Home Lending and Commercial Banking in geographies and segments where we are underweight such as New South Wales,” added Mr Smith in the report stating the results.

The positive results led to ANZ shares lifting, up 3% to $34.35 at 10:00am AEST, while Westpac Banking Corp and National Australia Bank were sharply down, according to SMH.

Mr Smith further added that, “For the foreseeable future, we will be operating in a lower growth environment in which there will continue to be occasional volatility and shocks. Nevertheless, the outlook for credit quality remains relatively benign supported by low interest rates, the stimulus of a low oil price and an appreciating US Dollar. While China’s economic growth is slowing, this process is being well managed.”

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