SYDNEY Oct 25 Australia and New Zealand Banking
Corp said second half underlying profit rose 7.4
percent, beating expectations on tighter costs and Asian
expansion and taking full-year earnings to a record for a
ANZ, which wants to earn a third of its annual profit in
Asia by 2017 as growth in Australia slows, reported underlying
second-half profit of A$3.04 billion, compared with A$2.83
billion a year ago and A$2.95 billion expected by analysts.
Full-year underlying profit, which excludes one-offs,
non-cash accounting items and investment gains or losses, was a
record A$6.01 billion.
Australian banks are expected to post a combined profit of
more than $25 billion in 2011/12, marking a third straight year
of record profits. But profit growth has slipped to a three-year
low due to weak loan demand, while bad debts are set to rise as
the economy cools.
(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by John Mair;
Editing by Richard Pullin)