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ANZ fiscal H1 cash profit falls 24% YOY

Australia &New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. posted a 24% year-over-year decline incash profit for the fiscal first half ended March 31.

The group's fiscal first-half cash profit declined to A$2.78billion, or 90.7 cents per share, from A$3.68 billion, or A$1.299 per share, forthe prior-year half.

The company attributed the decline in cash profit to severalspecified items such as software capitalization changes, Asian minority investmentadjustments, restructuring expenses and the divestment of Esanda Dealer Finance.

ANZ reported a 22% year-over-year fall in statutory profit attributableto shareholders to A$2.74 billion, or 89.7 cents per share, down from A$3.51 billion,or A$1.246 per share.

Net interest income for the half rose to A$7.57 billion fromA$7.14 billion. Net funds management and insurance income fell to A$857 millionfrom A$1.02 billion.

Operating income rose slightly to A$10.27 billion from A$10.24billion. Profit before credit impairment and income tax fell year over year to A$4.79billion from A$5.64 billion.

Credit impairment charges for the half climbed to A$904 millionfrom A$494 million in the prior-year period.

The group's net interest margin for the half was 2.01%, downfrom 2.04% at both Sept. 30, 2015, and March 31, 2015.

The group's gross impaired assets ratio was 0.51% as of March31, up from 0.47% at Sept. 30, 2015, and 0.48% at March 31, 2015. Its net impairedassets ratio was 2.9% at March 31, remaining steady from Sept. 30, 2015, but downfrom 3.1% at March 31, 2015.

As of March 31, the group's total capital adequacy ratio underAPRA Basel III was 13.7%, up from 12.6% at the end of Mach 2015. Its common equityTier 1 and Tier 1 capital ratios for the period were 9.8% and 11.6%, respectively,compared to 8.7% and 10.6% a year earlier.

Group unit ANZBank New Zealand Ltd. posted an 11% year-over-year decline in first-halfcash profit to NZ$751 million from NZ$841 million.

The unit's statutory profit declined 13% year over year to NZ$763million from NZ$877 million. The bank's net interest income rose to NZ$1.49 billionfrom NZ$1.42 billion, while operating income dropped to NZ$1.90 billion from NZ$1.93billion.

ANZ's board proposed a fully franked interim dividend of 80 centsper share, down from its prior-yearinterim dividend of 86 cents. The interim dividend will be paid July 1.

As of May 2, US$1 was equivalentto A$1.31 and NZ$1.43.