The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
ANZ has hauled in another record-breaking profit, on the back of reduced headcount, slashed expenses and a drop in provision for bad debt.
The country’s biggest lender made a A$1.37 billion (K2.98 billion) profit in the year to Sept 30, up 8% from the previous year.
ANZ’s Australian parent company of the same name made a statutory profit of A$6.3 billion (K14.46 billion), up 11%.
Much of the New Zealand increase came through a A$232 million (K532.84 million) drop in expenses, a reduction of 13% driven in part by the culling of more than 800 staff.
Provision for bad debt dropped 66% from A$194 million (K445.56 million) to A$65 million (K149 million).
ANZ’s net interest margin, which represents the difference between the cost of funding and loans, fell from 2.63% to 2.49% because of strong competition.
Despite the tighter margins and the subdued credit environment, the bank averaged lending growth of 4%, and customer deposits grew 7%.
The bank began its programme to merge the ANZ and National Bank brands a year ago.
Chief executive David Hisco (pictured) said that as well as delivering productivity gains, the merger had driven market-share increases in mortgages and credit cards.
While branch costs declined, coverage around the country had increased from 75% to 82%, including a presence in eight more communities.
“We’ve done a lot since the merger but there’s still much more to do,” Hisco said.
On an adjusted “cash profit” basis, which is the measure preferred by analysts, the bank’s profit jumped 12% to A$1.44 illion (K3.3 billion(.
ANZ’s Australian parent declared a fully franked final dividend of A$0.91 per share, taking the total payout for the year to A$1.64 per share. – Fairfax NZ News