April 30, 2014 / 10:18 PM / in 4 years

RPT-ANZ posts 15 pct rise in H1 net profit

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SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd posted a 15 percent rise in half-year net profit, slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations on strong growth in its Asia business and a drop in bad debts.

Australia’s third-biggest lender said on Thursday net profit rose to A$3.4 billion ($3.15 billion) for the six months to the end of March. That compared with A$2.9 billion a year ago and analysts’ expectations of A$3.48 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

Cash profit, a measure closely watched by industry analysts, rose 11 percent to A$3.5 billion. ($1 = 1.0793 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Swati Pandey)

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