UPDATE 1.45pm: ANZ Bank has posted a record $5.66 billion full-year profit on the back of improved performances from most of its businesses and cost reductions from job cuts.
But the bank warned of a slowing economy and more challenging times ahead. The negative commentary sent the bank's shares down 22 cents, or 0.86 per cent, to $25.38 by 12.25pm.
ANZ's net profit for the year to September 30 was up 6 per cent from $5.36 billion in the previous year.
Its cash profit, which excludes what the bank calls non-core financial items, was $6.01 billion, also up six per cent, from $5.65 billion in the previous year.
down 23 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $25.37 at 11.35am.
The bank said this morning its results showed the benefits of efforts to improve productivity and efficiency, and to attract new customers.
"In the Australia division, we delivered an improved performance, particularly in the second half,” chief executive Mike Smith told analysts.
"Profit grew 4 per cent, underpinned by a strong focus on productivity, market share gains in retail, growth in commercial customer numbers and tighter management of margins."
As part of productivity measures, ANZ reduced its full-time staff numbers in Australia by 2699 in the 12 months to September 30, or 11 per cent of its local workforce.
A rise in employees in its Asian operations meant its total job losses totalled 2058 in the year, or 4 per cent of its workforce.
ANZ said underlying profit per average full-time employee was $122,681 in the year to September, up from $116,546 in the previous year.
Outside of Australia, the bank posted profit growth in its New Zealand and international operations, but its wealth management business recorded a slight fall.
ANZ's continued expansion into Asia saw revenues from the region make up 21 per cent of its full-year revenue, and China was now ANZ's third largest market for earnings, Mr Smith said.
The bank's provisions for bad debt costs in the year to September were broadly in line with the previous years but, Mr Smith, said slowing economic growth in the year ahead could see bad debts increase.
"Although I remain upbeat about ANZ's prospects ... 2013 does look challenging with a softening economic outlook and headwinds in a number of areas,” he said.
"I think, realistically, this will include a slightly higher provision outlook which will be broadly in line with current market consensus."ANZ declared a fully-franked final dividend of 79 cents per share, taking its full-year dividends to $1.45, up from $1.40 in the previous year.