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May 2 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said on Tuesday its first-half cash profit rose 23 percent, helped by the performance of its core lending business, although it missed analysts' estimates.
Cash profit for the country's third-biggest lender rose to A$3.41 billion ($2.57 billion) for the first six months to March 31, up 23 percent from a year ago. The cash profit figure excludes one-offs and non-cash accounting items.
Analysts on average expected a cash profit of A$3.49 billion, according to four surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. ($1 = 1.3294 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena, editing by G Crosse)