The ANZ bank has slashed full-year dividend by more than 60% after reporting a 40% slide in earnings to $3.577 billion for the year to September 30.
The bank reported a cash profit of $3.66 billion for the year (it’s the favoured profit measure for banks) which was down 42% on the $6.161 billion a year ago.
Final dividend has been set at 35 cents a share, down from the 80 cents a share a year ago (which was 70% franked). The ANZ paid a delayed interim of 25 cents a share for 2019-20 which was down from 80 cents previously.
That makes a total for 2019-20 of 60 cents a share, down from $1.60 in 2018-19.
That’s a payout of just over 49% of profits against the 76% share a year ago, a sign of the heightened conservatism at the bank and among regulators because of COVID.
The bank was the first of the four majors with September 30 balance dates to report their full-year results on Thursday – the others, the NAB, and Westpac report next week while Macquarie releases its half-year results in November.
The Commonwealth Bank also releases its first-quarter trading update as well.
The ANZ saw September half-year profits of just over $2 billion, a 32% improvement on the $1.5 billion in the March half when the impact of the pandemic was growing and saw the bank (like its peers) make provisions for anticipated losses.
The ANZ lifted its total impairment charge to $2.738 billion for the year from $794 million a year earlier (which was the big dampener on earnings and return on equity).
Net interest income fell 2% for the year as the impact of lower interest rates hit in the second half when there was a 5% decline.