ANZ posts $4.8 billion profit

ANZ Banking Group has posted a cash profit of $4.8 billion for the first nine months of the financial year, up 11%, but it says revenue growth was slower than last year.

Revenue rose 5% in the nine months to June 30 while expenses fell 0.5% and provisions for bad debts fell 2%. This helped mitigate a squeeze on lending profit margins caused by low interest rates.

It reported unaudited statutory profit increased 7% to $4.7 billion, from the same period last year.

The growth was largely put down to its expansion in Asia and tightening of costs.

"During the year we have continued to make steady progress with out super regional strategy," chief executive Mike Smith said in a statement.

“We have produced consistent revenue growth with diversification benefits from our exposure to growth markets in Australia and in Asia.

At the same time, we are continuing to actively manage efficiency in every area of the business with a focus on improving productivity and capital utilisation.

He says consumer confidence should increase in the coming months while he played down concerns about China's growth.

"Although the economic outlook in Australia has softened somewhat, there is cause for greater optimism in the medium term as the effect of lower interest rates, a more competitive currency and the removal of some pre-election uncertainty underpin consumer confidence and economic activity."

"In Asia, we believe concerns about growth in China have been overdone. Although there is a rebalancing taking palce in China and there may be volatility associated with this, we need to remember that the world's second largest economy is still growing at around 7 to 7.5%."

In Australia ANZ said there is good momentum in commercial lending and deposits as well as in retail mortgage and deposits while household lending has grown above system for 14 consecutive quarters.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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