ANZ records profit increase in first quarter: Midday roundup

ANZ has confirmed its guidance for the full year after recording an increase in first-quarter cash profit, although the bank recorded a decline in statutory profit.

In the three months to December 31, ANZ recorded an unaudited cash profit of $1.53 billion, up by 6.2% from the previous corresponding period.

But on a statutory basis, profit fell by 20% to $1.36 billion. ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said the company had continued to perform “despite soft economic conditions in Australia and New Zealand, and cautious behaviour by consumers and business”.

“In international and institutional banking, expenses were well controlled however margins remain under pressure, albeit less so than in 2012, while favourable trading conditions and increased customer volumes saw a strong performance in global markets,” he said.

Rudd confirms no leadership challenge ahead

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has said he will not challenge Prime Minister Julia Gillard for leadership of the Labor Party.

“Give us a break,” Rudd told the Seven Network as he was appearing with shadow treasurer Joe Hockey. His comment was in response to those made by opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull.

“I said a week or so ago everyone should take a long cold shower. What I’d say to Malcolm … is it’s time to jump in the ice bath.”

Minor fall for Australian shares

Australian shares opened lower this morning following news the European recession worsened in the last three months of 2012.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 9.8 points at midday to 5027.1. In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also had a minor fall yesterday closing 9.52 points lower overnight to 13,973.39.



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