LIC Housing Finance Ltd (LICHF) today reported a 38 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 326.59 crore in the third quarter ended December 31 on the back of sound growth in loan book along with lesser provisions.
Net profit of the company, a subsidiary of state-run insurance behemoth LIC, was at Rs 236.25 crore during the same period of previous fiscal.
LIC Housing Finance Ltd income from operations increased by 21 per cent to Rs 2,343 crore during the October-December period as against Rs 1,935 crore a year ago period.
"Despite a challenging environment, we have performed reasonably well in the third quarter. We are confident of maintaining the same trend for the fourth quarter of this fiscal," Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LIC Housing Finance, Sunita Sharma, told reporters here.
During Q3, net interest income rose 24 per cent to Rs 458 crore as against Rs 370 crore posted in the same period of previous fiscal. Similarly, net interest margin (NIM) improved to 2.16 per cent from 2.09 per cent reported a year earlier.
"Our cost of fund stood around 9.6-9.7 per cent in Q3, which is lower than beginning of the year. Going ahead, cost of funds will depend on the RBI policy measures. However, we hope our NIM will improve in the coming quarters," she said.
The housing finance provider said its loan book stood at Rs 86,422 crore in Q3, up 19 per cent over the same period last year. Retail outstanding loan portfolio grew 20 per cent to Rs 83,839 crore during the quarter under review.
"We are seeing growth in loan book going ahead with demand uptick seen in Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai among other cities," Sharma said.
However, LICHF, with a loan disbursement of around Rs 300 crore to developers in Q3, said it remains cautious on this segment and hopes to disburse around the same amount in the fourth quarter of FY14.
During the third quarter, asset quality of the company marginally deteriorated, with gross NPA rising to 0.81 per cent as against 0.74 per cent in the same period of FY13.
Net NPA slightly rose to 0.51 per cent from 0.45 per cent in Q3 of FY13. However, gross NPA in retail segment improved to 0.40 per cent from 0.52 per cent.
"There was one developer account of around Rs 132 crore, which