ICICI Bank today posted over 30 per cent growth in standalone net profit at Rs 2,250 crore in the third quarter ended December 2012, helped by sharp rise in net interest income and improvement in asset quality.
On a consolidated basis, the bank's net profit rose 22 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2,645 crore from Rs 2,174 crore as all its subsidiaries -- life and general insurance companies -- reported better numbers.
On the back of better-than-expected numbers, Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive of the country's largest private sector bank, said she is hopeful of growing above the industry average on the advances front, clipping at around 20 per cent by the end of March.
During the reporting quarter, the city-based lender saw its other income climbing 17 per cent to Rs 2,215 crore, while the income from interests accrued grew much faster at 29 per cent to Rs 3,500 crore, she said.
Describing the better performance to overall improvement in operations, Kochhar told reporters in a conference, "the rise in profit came on the back of overall growth and efficiency parameters."
She further said, "going forward, the bank expects slight improvement in net interest margin (NIM) by a few basis points. In the December quarter, the NIM grew 37 basis points to 3.07 per cent over the year ago period."
"Our growth in loans is well-balanced. We would grow our retail loans at 20 per cent. Also, there is a room for growing our international business wherein the net interest margin stood at 1.3 per cent," she said.
The bank expanded its loans by 16 per cent y-o-y to Rs 2.87 lakh crore while deposits grew at a slower pace by about 10 per cent to Rs 2.86 lakh crore.
ICICI Bank shares closed at Rs 1,190.85, after hitting a high of Rs 1,231 in the run-up to the earnings announcement, down 1.93 per cent from yesterday's close on the BSE.
Analysts at Emkay Global Financial Services said numbers are significantly ahead of their estimates aided by asset quality improvement is commendable in stressed times like now.
Advances rose 16 per cent to Rs 2,86,766 crore from Rs 246,157 crore, led by 17 per cent spike in retail advances to Rs 96,528 crore.
The net non-performing asset ratio at improved to 0.64 per cent from 0.70 per cent a year ago, while sequentially also it improved a bit from 0.66 per cent.
On the advances side, the growth