The firm stated that its major businesses performed well, with increased home loan market share in Australia, and home loan volumes in New Zealand


ANZ's head office at 833 Collins Street, in Melbourne's Docklands. (Credit: Elekhh /Wikipedia.)

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has reported an unaudited cash profit from continuing operations of A$1.81bn ($1.4bn) for the first quarter (Q1) 2021, a 54% increase compared to the quarterly average of the last two quarters.

The company has reported an unaudited statutory profit after tax of A$1.62bn ($1.26bn), and profit before credit impairment and tax of A$2.43bn ($1.93bn), for Q1 2021.

The banks’ APRA Level 2 CET1 Ratio for the three months ended 31 December 2020 was 11.7, compared to 11.3 for the quarter ended September 2020.

The Australian bank attributed the increase in first-quarter profits to increased home lending and reduced credit losses as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said: “This is a strong performance in volatile trading conditions that again highlights the benefits of disciplined execution of our strategy as well as maintaining a simpler and well-balanced portfolio of businesses.

“We’re pleased to have achieved these results for shareholders while also helping customers in difficulty and providing the vital lending needed to support the economic recovery.”

The company said that all of its major businesses performed well through the quarter, with increased home loan market share in Australia, and home loan volumes in New Zealand.

ANZ reported a net release of A$150m ($116m) as total provisions, comprising an individually assessed provision (IP) charge of A$23m ($18m) and a collective provision (CP) release of A$173m ($134m).

The release of CP constitutes around 10% of the A$1.7bn ($1.3bn), which the company has set aside during the financial year (FY) 2020.

The company reports a CP balance of A$4.8bn ($3.7bn) as of 31 December 2020, which indicates additional reserves of A$1.42bn ($1.1bn) compared to the levels at 30 September 2019.

Elliott added: “Our diversified portfolio in Institutional delivered again for shareholders with a strong contribution from our international network. Markets had another solid quarter although revenue was down relative to the historic highs we experienced at the end of last year.

“Margins were up across the group due to higher volume growth in targeted segments and a disciplined and active approach to risk and pricing. The combination drove Group revenue up 4% for the quarter when excluding the impact of our Markets business.”