ANZ Bank New Zealand, the nation's biggest lender, recorded a 0.3 percent gain in full-year cash profit, as growth in lending made up for a decline in net interest margin.

Cash profit was $1.69 billion in the year ended September 30, from $1.68 billion a year earlier, the bank said in a statement. Net interest income rose to $2.88 billion from $2.77 billion.

ANZ New Zealand, the local unit of Melbourne-based Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, lifted annual lending by 8 percent, driven by home and business loan growth, leaving it as the biggest mortgage lender in the nation's largest cities.

Figures provided in the parent company's results for the local banking division show net loans and advances in New Zealand rose to $104.8 billion from $96.6.2 million, while deposits and other borrowings rose to $70.7 billion from $63.7 billion.


Booming BNZ sets aside rural cushion
ANZ singled out over rate swaps

Its net interest margin slipped to 2.48 percent from 2.49 percent. Its credit impairment charge for the New Zealand division was $59 million, compared to a release of $9 million a year earlier.

The New Zealand business achieved a return on assets of 1.17 percent, down from 1.2 percent in 2014.

"We maintained our momentum from the first half and have continued to grow our market share in key products including home loans, business lending, KiwiSaver membership, credit cards and deposits," said chief executive David Hisco.

ANZ New Zealand's results show a 9 percent gain in earnings from retail operations to $734 million and a 5 percent decline in commercial to $478 million. However the numbers have been adjusted to account for the business banking segments being moved to retail from commercial.

Net profit, which includes changes in the value of hedges and insurance policy assets, rose 4 percent to $1.77 billion.

The net interest margin for the parent fell 9 basis points in the latest year, reflecting competition for home loans in Australia and New Zealand, and switching to fixed-rate from variable rate mortgages in New Zealand. Lower interest rates also dented earnings on capital from its markets and treasury operations, while competition to attract deposits forced up deposit rates, the bank said.

Parent cash profit rose 1 percent to a record A$7.2 billion as net interest income climbed 6 percent to A$14.6 billion, although its credit impairment charge also rose, to A$1.18 billion from A$986 million. It declared a final dividend of 95 Australian cents a share, making A$1.81 for the year, a 2 percent increase on payments in 2014.


ANZ shares last traded on the ASX at A$28.75 and have declined 10 percent this year, while the S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.4 percent. The stock is rated a 'buy' based on the consensus of 19 analysts surveyed by Reuters.