ANZ has lifted its first half cash profit five per cent to $3.676 billion, slightly ahead of the four per cent rise analysts had expected.
Net profit, which includes one off items, was $3.506 billion, up three per cent from $3.392 billion for the same period a year ago.
ANZ increased its interim dividend three cents to 86 cents.
The bank’s marginal outperformance contrasts with Westpac’s disappointing profit of $3.7 billion, announced yesterday.
ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said: “This is a good, well balanced financial performance with solid progress made in reshaping our business in response to the more challenging macro-environment.
“Our domestic markets in Australia and New Zealand have again 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.”
Turning to the future, Mr Smith predicted a “lower growth environment” with “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.
“This environment presents some challenges, however we are confident about the benefits of our Super Regional strategy over the longer term and the opportunity to continue to improve financial performance in the near term,” Mr Smith said.
– with AAP