ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on Thursday reported a 44% year-on-year rise in the standalone net profit at Rs 1,452 crore for the quarter ended March as both interest and fee incomes surged.
The bank, which had reported a profit of Rs 1,006 crore in the same quarter a year ago, said it expected to grow in line with the overall industry in the current fiscal year.
“The industry is expected to grow a little upwards of 20%. Our growth will be similar,” chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar said.
On the retail front, ICICI Bank said that it will continue to sell its unsecured offerings such as credit cards, which had been paused during the economic slowdown two years ago.
However, Kochhar maintained that the products would be sold to select customer segments such as those having salary or savings accounts with the bank.
For the full-year 2010-11, the lender reported a net profit of R5,151 crore against R4,025 crore in the same period year-ago, showing an increase of 28%.Net Interest Income (the difference between interest earned and interest paid) for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 stood at Rs 2510 crore, up 23% from the same period a year ago.
Significantly, ICICI improved an improvement in the quality of assets (loans) with the net non-performing assets ratio (an indicator of loans that do not yield interest) going down to 0.94% from last year’s 1.87%.
Going forward bank sees a hardening in interest rates. “There is still some upward bias in interest rates,” Kochhar said.
Banks are juggling between the prospect of loans being hit by the industrial slowdown while high inflation is forcing up interest rates that drives up their operation costs.