ANZ Bank’s profits rose 2 per cent to $3.56 billion in the first half, as cost cutting and lower charges for bad loans helped to contain the impact of weak conditions in retail banking. Unveiling the result, chief executive Shayne Elliott repeated the bank had been too cautious towards the housing market, but added that it had a “momentum issue” and more customers were getting into difficulty with mortgage payments.
The bank on Wednesday announced the result in its cash profit, on a continuing basis, as it kept its interim dividend on hold at 80c a share, payable on 1 July. The result was messy due to several divestments and one-off costs, and including ANZ’s discontinued operations, ANZ’s cash profit rose 22 per cent to $5.3 billion. On a statutory basis, its earnings were down 5 per cent to $3.17 billion.
Analysts had forecast a cash profit of about $3.4 billion and an unchanged dividend of 80c a share.
ANZ said its net interest income fell 1 per cent in the year, mainly due to a 13 basis point narrowing in its net interest margin, which measures the bank’s cost of funding compared with what it charges for loans.
Read the full story from Clancy Yeates here.