Finance Finance News ANZ posts record $3.5B profit, dividend up
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ANZ posts record $3.5B profit, dividend up

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Investors have sent ANZ’s share price tumbling despite the bank’s record half year profit of $3.5 billion.

The nation’s fourth largest lender also increased its fully franked interim dividend to 83 cents per share, up from 73 cents a year ago.

The bank made a cash profit of $3.5 billion for the six months to March 31, up from $3.2 billion for the same period last year.

Net profit was $3.4 billion, up 15 per cent from $2.9 billion a year ago.

ANZ shares opened about 0.4 per cent higher but then slumped to be down 26 cents, or 0.75 per cent, at $34.21 by 1100 AEST.

The four major banks have all enjoyed good share price gains in 2014, and ANZ has grown by seven per cent for the year.

Shares in the three other major banks were outperforming ANZ on Thursday.

Chief executive Mike Smith said the result showed solid growth from Australia and New Zealand and a strong performance from its international division.

“Our international business, particularly Asia, is firing on all cylinders with revenue and profits again growing strongly, and a sustained improvement in returns,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Profit from the bank’s Australian division lifted five per cent thanks to strong growth in home loans and loans to small businesses.

Meanwhile, ANZ lifted profit from its New Zealand business 21 per cent after the bank grew its market share and improved productivity and credit quality.

Profit from the banks international operations were up nine per cent, driven particularly by growth from Asia, while the global wealth division lifted profits 11 per cent.

Mr Smith said the result showed the success of the bank’s efforts to diversify its earnings into Asia.

“This is a good set of results. They demonstrate consistent progress with ANZ’s long-term strategy to grow in our core franchises in Australia and New Zealand, to build a significant and profitable franchise in Asia Pacific, and to establish common infrastructure and processes that improve productivity and reduce risk,” he said.

“The diversification this strategy provides is now delivering a differentiated proposition for our customers and improved returns for shareholders.”