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ANZ's Q1 net profit falls to $1.36b


ANZ's first quarter net profit has dropped by nearly a fifth to $1.36 billion.

The statutory unaudited result for the three months to December 31 was about 20 per cent lower than the $1.7 billion net profit the bank recorded for the previous corresponding period.

However, ANZ's unaudited underlying profit for the quarter rose 6.2 per cent, to $1.53 billion from $1.49 billion.

Revenue volume growth in Asia during ANZ's first quarter was offset by margin pressures in New Zealand, and the international and institutional banking division.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith described the bank's result as solid and in line with expectations outlined last October when it reported a record $5.66 billion full year net profit.

He said ANZ had continued to perform despite soft economic conditions in Australia and New Zealand, and cautious behaviour by consumers and business.

"Provisions were in line with expectations and there have been no developments, including the recent natural disasters in Australia, that would materially change our guidance for the year," he said in a statement on Friday.

Mr Smith said ANZ had won market share in Australia and New Zealand in regards to retail deposits and home loans during the quarter.

However, margins had been softer in New Zealand, where cost management was a priority.

Margins at ANZ's international and institutional banking arms also remained under pressure, albeit less so than in 2012.

Mr Smith said the trading environment had remained subdued for the bank's wealth division, but costs were being managed.

ANZ's global markets income rose 26 per cent to $544 million during the quarter, while average customer deposits increased 12.3 per cent and average lending assets were up 7.6 per cent.

Customer sales income increased four per cent on the bank's quarterly average for 2012, with ANZ's Australian business performing well and its Asian arm having its strongest ever customer sales result.

The bank said its credit quality trends were in line with expectations, with an impairment charge of $311 million.