India's third-largest private sector bank Axis Bank on Tuesday announced a 22% year-on-year rise in net profit to Rs.1,347 crore during the October-December quarter against Rs.1,102 crore a year ago, driven by a healthy growth in advances.
"We expect our loan book to grow more than the industry average in the current fiscal year," said Somnath Sengupta, executive director, Axis Bank.
The bank's advances rose 21% to Rs.179,504 crore as on December 31, 2012, driven mainly by retail loans, which grew by 45% to Rs.48,068 crore at the end of previous calendar year.
Net interest income (the difference between interest earned and interest paid) grew by 17% to Rs.2,495 crore during the quarter compared to Rs.2,140 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Other income increased to Rs.1,615 crore during the third quarter from Rs.1,430 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, a growth of 13%.
The bank was able to improve margins on a sequential basis as net interest margin stood at 3.6% at the end of December 2012 against 3.5% in the previous quarter of 2012.
The lender was able to maintain stable asset quality as gross non-performing assets (NPAs) remained unchanged at 1.1% as on December 31, 2012.
The company's shares closed up 2.6% to Rs.1,423 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.