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ANZ reports 49% profit rise in NZ

Friday 25th February 2011

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ANZ New Zealand has reported a $300 million profit in the three months to December 31, up 49% from the same period last year.

The bank, which encompasses the ANZ and National Bank of New Zealand networks and other businesses, said lending growth was flat during the quarter as businesses and households reduced debt and there was competition for deposits.

ANZ New Zealand chief executive officer David Hisco said the profit was up from a low base last year and demonstrated that the bank was well positioned to support the New Zealand economy through its recovery.

"We will retain this commitment, including in Canterbury, where our customers will need significant support in rebuilding," he said.

ANZ New Zealand has also announced a relief package for customers affected by the magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Tuesday and a further $1 million donation.

"It is too early for the financial impact of the earthquake on our customers to be assessed in a meaningful way. At this time our focus is on the wellbeing of our staff and support of our customers," Hisco said.

He listed positive factors emerging for the New Zealand economy, including improving business confidence and early positive signs in the labour market.

"High prices for New Zealand's major export commodity prices should translate into higher rural incomes this year and we still expect a positive economic spin-off for New Zealand from the Rugby World Cup 2011."

Net interest income was $644 million, up 7% from last year and other external operating income was $199 million, down 1%.

Provisions from credit impairments fell 79% to $32 million.

A breakdown showed a 63% rise in the profit in the retail business and a 22% fall in the institutional business.



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