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'Reinvigorated' ANZ banks record profit

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 26th October 2000

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The ANZ Banking Group has posted a record pre-abnormals operating profit of A$1.7 billion, up 15% on last year's A$1.48 billion.

Second-half operating profit to the end of September was up 15% on the previous year and 8% on the first half of the year at A$885 million. Earning per share was A$1.04 and a final dividend of 35 cents has been announced to bring the full year dividend to 64 cents per share.

The bank says it has used the opportunity of the profit on the sale of its Grindlays unit to take an abnormal restructuring charge of A$361 million.

The restructuring program covers changes to the group's current technology, premises and operational infrastructure. These include modernising and reshaping metropolitan branches and sales and service outlets into specially tailored retail outlets, upgrading its Eftpos network and rationalising its IT platforms.

ANZ boss, John McFarlane, says the program is planned to be implemented this year and next, and the bank expects to recover the majority of the expenditure by the third year from productivity improvement and revenue enhancement.

"We have demonstrated that we can perform financially. The challenge now is to shift from the more traditional ways of doing business, by creating dedicated sales and service offices and branches, tailored to the different needs of our customer segments. Today, we don't believe that there are any competitors who really achieve this, and this presents a unique opportunity for us."

ANZ chairman, Charles Goode says the latest profit result is the outcome of three years of hard work reinvigorating the company.

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