16 February 2017 By Jassmyn Goh
ANZ has posted a net profit of $1.6 billion, up eight per cent, and a cash profit of $2 billion, up 31 per cent, in the three months to 31 December 2016.
In a trading update to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), ANZ said its results benefited from a good performance in Australia and New Zealand retail and in institutional banking.
The results said profit before provisions was up 17 per cent, and revenue was up seven per cent, and progress was made on efficiency with expenses down four per cent and was driven by current and prior period productivity initiatives and tight cost management.
ANZ chief executive, Shayne Elliot, said: "The first quarter saw a positive start to the year. There was further momentum in executing our strategy to build a simpler, better balanced and fairer bank that more consistently meets customer expectations, and delivers improve shareholder returns".
"Our ability to deliver these outcomes [new initiatives] for customers while maintaining good earnings momentum has been supported by strong productivity gains and improved capital efficiency," he said.
The announcement noted the bank's non-core asset disposals with its agreements to sell its 20 per cent stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank (SRCB), the UDC Finance business in New Zealand, and ANZ's retail and wealth businesses in five Asian countries.
The transactions are expected to complete in the second half of FY2017 and 1H2018 subject to regulatory approvals.
"For the purposes of comparison, if the earnings from the businesses being sold were to be excluded from cash profit performance for 1Q17 it would show an increase of 33 per cent (+31 per cent including)," the announcement said.
ANZ had previously announced that it was looking to sell its Australian wealth business and were considering strategic options for the business.
IOOF's managing director, Christopher Kelaher, told Money Management on Wednesday that his firm had an interest in ANZ's wealth management assets.