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Australia's Macquarie Group annual profit jumps 27%

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Macquarie Group, Australia's top investment bank, on Friday posted its best annual profit since the 2008 global financial crisis, led by growth in its annuity-style businesses as well as commodities trading and foreign exchange units.

[SYDNEY] Macquarie Group, Australia's top investment bank, on Friday posted its best annual profit since the 2008 global financial crisis, led by growth in its annuity-style businesses as well as commodities trading and foreign exchange units.

Net profit jumped 27 per cent to A$1.6 billion(US$1.26 billion) for the year to March 31 compared with A$1.27 billion a year ago and topped analysts' consensus forecast of A$1.5 billion.

The bank in February had forecast a net profit increase at the upper end of the 10- to 20-per cent range.

The results will give investors confidence in Macquarie's strategy of "de-risking" from its traditional investment banking operations and focusing on more stable returns from activities such as retail banking and annuity-style businesses.

Macquarie also unveiled a final dividend of A$2 each, taking the full year dividend to A$3.3 a share, up 27 percent from a year ago.

REUTERS