The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went up 0.4% to 7,096 points.
Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)
ANZ reported its HY21 result today. Compared to the second half of FY20, statutory profit after tax grew by 45% to $2.94 billion, cash profit (continuing operations) rose by 28% to $2.99 billion.
One of the key drivers was a net credit provision release of $491 million.
ANZ’s board decided to increase its dividend per share by $0.35 to $0.70. This decision was taken after a 110 point increase of the common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio to 12.4%.
The CEO of ANZ, Shayne Elliott, said:
Following the trends of the first quarter, all parts of our business performed well. Costs were down 2% and we also increased investment in new digital capability that will provide ongoing productivity improvements and better customer outcomes.
Australia retail and commercial had another good half, becoming the third largest home lender in the market. Deposits performed well, with retail and small business customers behaving prudently by building solid savings and offset balances through the half.
Lower revenues in our institutional business were largely expected due to the impact of falling interest rates as well as a normalisation of markets revenue after an exceptionally strong 2020. Our disciplined focus on credit management has been a positive with our largest customers going into the pandemic from a position of strength and adapting fast to the rapidly changing environment.
New Zealand continued its recent strong performance with record lending growth combined with disciplined cost management. This is a well-run business that is an important part of our overall portfolio and is well-placed to manage increased regulatory capital demands.
Improving credit conditions resulted in a release of almost $500 million during the half. While the pandemic hasn’t resulted in large credit losses to date, we still have almost $4.3 billion in reserve if conditions deteriorate.
The ANZ share price fell over 3% today, making it one of the worst performers in the ASX 200.
Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)
The Nearmap share price went up 14.5% today before going into a trading halt this morning.
Yesterday afternoon, Nearmap increased its FY21 annual contract value (ACV) guidance to a range of $128 million to $132 million, up from $120 million to $128 million.
After a strong first half of FY21, the company has seen momentum continue with growth across its core industry segments from both new and existing customers.
Management boasted that this reinforces the attractiveness of the company’s subscription business model, its technology and the differentiated customer offering which combine to give Nearmap a significant competitive advantage.
Nearmap continues to invest the proceeds from the FY21 capital raise into key growth initiatives, including the development of HyperCamera3 which remains on track to be rolled out in FY22. With each of the investment initiatives on track and with continued momentum in ACV growth, Nearmap now expects the net cash outflow to be less than $10 million this financial year.
In early trading, Nearmap shares went into a trading halt to respond to the potential legal proceedings. It was the best performer in the ASX 200 before the trading halt.
Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC)
The Ramsay Health Care share price dropped over 4% today after giving a trading update yesterday. The private hospital business said that Ramsay Australia has seen volume recovery in the Australian market continues, but it has been impacted by lockdowns.
In the third quarter of FY21, it saw a 4.6% increase in total patient revenue. That was driven by surgical admissions per work-day going up 8.5% year on year and non-surgical admissions per work-day going up 4.4%.
Ramsay UK was called on by the NHS to help deal with peak surge COVID-19 cases, resulting in the company seeing 14 hospitals being utilised during certain periods. Ramsay was paid on a cost recovery basis for this. The business has continued to treat non-COVID NHS priority cases and to provide private patient services during the third quarter. Admissions were down 6.2%.
The Ramsay share price was one of the worst performers today in the ASX 200.