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Axis Bank Q4 net up 25% on lower provisioning

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Private sector lender on Friday reported a 25 per cent rise in for the quarter ended March on the back of robust growth in net interest income and fee income, and lower provisioning. Net profit rose to Rs 1,277 crore, from Rs 1,020 crore a year earlier. Net interest income grew by 26 per cent to Rs 2,146 crore in the fourth quarter, while fee income was up eight per cent to Rs 1,327 crore. Provisioning was down from Rs 254 crore to Rs 139 crore.

The bank clocked annual growth of 19 per cent in advances and 16 per cent in deposits. Shikha Sharma, managing director and chief executive officer of Axis Bank, said the lender would aim to achieve credit growth of above 17 per cent, the projection made by the Reserve Bank of India for 2012-13.

Current accounts and savings accounts constituted 42 per cent of the total bank deposits at the end of 2011-12. However, an increase in the cost of funds led to lower net interest margins (NIMs) during the quarter. fell from 3.65 per cent to 3.59 per cent.

Somnath Sengupta, executive director and chief financial officer of Axis Bank, said NIMs were expected to be in the 3.25-3.5 per cent range in the coming quarters.

On the asset quality front, the bank reported a net non-performing assets ratio of 0.25 per cent as compared to 0.26 per cent in the corresponding period last year. Gross non-performing assets as a percentage of gross assets also fell from 1.01 per cent to 0.94 per cent in the same period. The total amount of restructured assets grew to Rs 3060 crore, with Rs 588 crore added during the fourth quarter of 2011-12.

The bank's capital adequacy ratio stood at 13.66 per cent with tier-I capital at 9.45 per cent at the end of financial year 2011-12. Axis Bank announced a dividend of Rs 16 per share for the financial year 2011-12. Also, executive directors--V Srinivaasn and were appointed as Whole time directors on the bank's board.

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