Australia's ANZ Banks posts record $5.9 B profit

SYDNEY -- One of Australia's largest banks, ANZ Banking Group Ltd., posted a 6 percent rise in full year profit to a record 5.7 billion Australian dollars ($5.9 billion) on Thursday as it grew earnings from its domestic and international operations.

The Melbourne-based bank also announced that its cash profit of AU$6 billion to the year to Sept. 30 was also up 6 percent from AU$5.7 billion in the previous year. The statutory and cash profits were records for the bank.

"Although the operating environment in 2013 looks more challenging with stronger headwinds in a number of areas, our unique growth strategy and the momentum we have in adapting to the new environment means we are well placed to deliver value and performance to shareholders in 2013," ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said in a statement.

The bank declared a final dividend of 79 AU cents per share, an increase of 4 percent from the previous year.

ANZ has the lowest reliance among major Australian banks on offshore markets to fund its lending, with 61 percent of its funding coming from customer deposits.

Australian banks proved resilient against the global economic downturn and remain among a handful of banks in the world to maintain a AA credit rating.