Sydney (AFP) - The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) on Tuesday booked a record annual net profit of Aus$6.3 billion (US$6.0 billion) -- up 11 percent -- citing a successful Asia-focused growth strategy.
ANZ, one of Australia's four major lenders, said an 18 percent reduction in bad debts and cutting operations expenses by 10 percent had helped it to a consensus-beating result.
Cash profit, which strips out one-off and other items, was also up 11 percent to Aus$6.50 billion.
"This is a strong performance, the result of a distinctive long-term strategy focused on growth in our domestic franchises and targeted expansion in Asia," said ANZ CEO Mike Smith.
Smith said ANZ had attracted more customers and increased its market share in Australia in 2013, with small business and home loans in neighbouring New Zealand also expanding.
Its lucrative international and institutional banking (IIB) unit performed strongly, with the Asia division accounting for 34 percent of overall IIB income compared with 24 percent three years ago.
In the same period, ANZ's Asian commercial business expanded 29 percent.
"Today, the continued shift of global growth to Asia means that our strategy focused on building an Asia-connected bank makes more sense than ever," said Smith.
"It is creating growth options in all our businesses by allowing us to better meet the needs of customers by capturing the banking opportunities linked to regional capital, trade and wealth flows."
ANZ declared a final dividend of 91 cents per share, bringing the year's total payout to Aus$1.64 per share after an interim dividend of 73 cents.
Analysts said the impressive numbers had beaten market consensus on every measure and augured well for the other major banks due to report profits in coming days.
"If the market was looking to be delighted by the bank's results, ANZ has certainly started bank week with a bang," said IG Markets analyst Evan Lucas.
"I see this result as a strong one and I would not be surprised to see the market jumping on board with the initial take."ANZ shares jumped 1.5 percent at the open to Aus$33.73 as investors welcomed the result.