ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector lender, on Tuesday announced a 20% year-on-year rise in the net profit at Rs 1,728 crore for the third quarter ended December.
The better-than-expected result was supported by a strong loan demand and decline in bad loan provisions. The bank had reported a profit of Rs 1,437 crore same quarter last year.
"The bank is back on growth path," said Chanda Kochhar, managing director and chief executive officer, ICICI Bank. "Advances have grown by 19%, non-performing assets (NPAs) are in control and provisions (for NPAs) have gone down."
Advances increased by 19% year-on-year to Rs 246,157 crore in the quarter from Rs 206,692 crore at December 31, 2010.
Net interest income (the difference between interest earned and interest paid) stood at Rs 2,712 crore as against Rs 2,312 crore same quarter last year, recording a growth of 17%.
"We expect 18% credit growth in the current financial year," said Kochhar.
Analysts believe the bank will be able to maintain asset quality because of its focus on secured loans such as home and vehicle loans. "The bank has slowed down on unsecured loans and is now focussing on secured loans which will help it control bad loans," said Dinesh Shukla, banking analyst, Sharekhan. "Asset quality of the bank is not expected to deteriorate going forward."
Investors cheered the result as shares of the company closed at Rs 902, up by 6% on Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday.