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ANZ reports 42% drop in annual profit, slashes dividend

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd reported a 42% drop in full-year cash profit and said it would pay a lower final dividend on Thursday, as loan losses escalated due to economic challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cash profit from continuing operations was A$3.76 billion ($2.68 billion) for the year ended Sept. 30, compared with A$6.47 billion a year earlier. It beat an estimate of A$3.51 billion, according to a Reuters poll of eight analysts. (bit.ly/31SbUCT) ($1 = 1.4027 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan and Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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