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AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED

(ANZ)
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ANZ Reports 1st Half Profit of A$2.94 Billion, Up 90% -- Update

05/04/2021 | 05:11pm EDT

By Alice Uribe

SYDNEY--Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said its interim profit rose by 90%, boosted in part by strong home lending and an improved economic outlook.

Australia's fourth-largest lender by market capitalization reported a net profit of 2.94 billion Australian dollars (US$2.28 billion) for the six months through March.

With 92,000 new home loan accounts, ANZ said it was now the third-largest home lender in the market.

Cash earnings--a measure closely tracked by analysts that strips out non-core items such as revenue hedges and treasury shares--rose 126% to A$2.98 billion, up from A$1.32 billion a year ago. When measured only using continuing operations, ANZ's cash profit was A$2.99 billion, up 112% on year.

ANZ Chief Executive Shayne Elliott said the lender was "in a strong position both financially and operationally."

"Work done over the past five years to simplify our operations, strengthen our balance sheet and de-risk the group helped us deliver a strong result this half, meaning we are well-placed to continue to support the ongoing economic recovery and customers doing it tough," he said.

ANZ was able to release a net A$491 million in credit provisions amid the improving economic outlook. It consisted of a collective provision release of A$678 million, offset by an individually assessed provision charge of A$187 million.

"Improving credit conditions resulted in a release of almost A$500 million during the half. While the pandemic hasn't resulted in large credit losses to date, we still have almost A$4.3 billion in reserve if conditions deteriorate," Mr. Elliott said

ANZ's net interest margin was 1.63%, while it reported a common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 12.4%. The lender declared an interim dividend of A$0.70 per share, compared with A$0.25 a year ago.

ANZ said its capital position allowed for flexibility to return surplus capital to shareholders.

"Any decision will balance the importance of capital efficiency against maintaining an appropriately strong balance sheet as we continue to get more clarity around the economic situation," said ANZ.

Despite economic conditions improving for Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Elliott said significant uncertainty remained.

"There is still significant uncertainty. You only need to look at how the pandemic is playing out overseas, as well as recent lockdowns, to realise how quickly the situation can escalate," he said.

ANZ's result came days after the lender said its first-half cash profit would take a A$817 million hit due to several large or notable items including customer remediation and restructuring charges.

Write to Alice Uribe at alice.uribe@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-04-21 1911ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED 0.36% 27.75 End-of-day quote.22.25%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.10% 34742.82 Delayed Quote.13.63%
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Financials
Sales 2021 17 527 M 13 740 M 13 740 M
Net income 2021 6 110 M 4 790 M 4 790 M
Net Debt 2021 - - -
P/E ratio 2021 13,3x
Yield 2021 5,04%
Capitalization 77 350 M 60 887 M 60 637 M
Capi. / Sales 2021 4,41x
Capi. / Sales 2022 4,21x
Nbr of Employees 37 844
Free-Float -
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Number of Analysts 14
Average target price 29,26 AUD
Last Close Price 27,38 AUD
Spread / Highest target 26,0%
Spread / Average Target 6,88%
Spread / Lowest Target -12,3%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Shayne Cary Elliott Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Shane Buggle Chief Financial Officer
Paul Dominic O'Sullivan Chairman
Gerard Florian Group Executive-Technology
Michael Liarakos Chief Compliance Officer