ANZ Bank remained on track to deliver continued improvement
in business growth and financial performance, chief executive
Mike Smith said yesterday.
The bank announced an unaudited cash profit of $A1.73 billion
($NZ1.87 billion) for the three months ended December, up 13%
on the previous corresponding period.
The unaudited reported profit was $A1.64 billion, up nearly
21% on the $A1.36 billion reported in the pcp.
Bank profit margins have lately caused controversy,
particularly in New Zealand where the profits from the local
branches are repatriated back to Australia.
Bank union officials and Opposition politicians are
particularly vocal in their criticism of the amount of profit
being taken out of the country.
Mr Smith said the Australian division of the bank again grew
market share in both the retail and corporate and commercial
divisions during the quarter, while making further
investments through the Banking on Australia programme.
In New Zealand, the bank consolidated its market-leading
position while producing further benefits from the
The global wealth division continued to improve business
performance through productivity gains and increased sales of
wealth solutions to bank customers.
''The bottom line is that we have made a good start to
2014,'' Mr Smith said.
''There remain a number of challenging issues in the global
economic environment. However, these are now largely more
''Our performance in the first quarter means we are on track
to deliver a solid 2014,'' he said.
Morningstar analyst David Ellis said the ANZ update was in
line with his expectations with solid revenue growth, modest
expense growth and lower bad debts again featuring.
Conservative management, modest revenue growth, relatively
stable net interest margins, tight cost control and lower bad
debts provided increasing confidence the bank was executing
well on its long-term growth strategy, he said.
The standout was the improvement in loan quality and bad debt
expense of only $A191 million, reflecting continued low
interest rates and low levels of corporate leverage.
Guidance for full-year 2014 was updated, with total bad debt
expense now expected to be 10% lower than the $A1.2 billion
reported in 2013, Mr Ellis said.