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 was led by retail loan books, which grew 17 per cent, up from 15 per cent in Q2 and 10 per cent in Q1.
Home loans notched up 19 per cent growth while auto loans fared much better with a 25 per cent growth. Corporate loans grew 16 per cent.
Non-interest income rose 17 per cent to Rs 2,215 crore from Rs 1,892 crore and non-core income rose 37 per cent.
Other income came in at Rs 193 crore, mainly in the form of dividends from it subsidiaries with ICICI Pru Life chipping in with Rs 97 crore and ICICI Lombard giving Rs 95 crore.
During the quarter, the bank restructured Rs 350 crore worth loans, taking its total CDR book to Rs 4,169 crore.
The bank added 123 branches during the quarter taking its network to 2,895. It saw an additional Rs 850 crore worth loans turning bad, while it upgraded/recovered Rs 650 crore.
Provisions against bad loans rose marginally to Rs 369 crore as against Rs 341 crore a year back. However, the same came down in comparison to the September quarter when it had set aside Rs 508 crore.
Provision coverage ratio for the quarter stood at 77.7 per cent at the end of the December quarter.
During the reporting quarter, gross non-performing asset (NPAs) ratio improved from 3.54 per cent to 3.31 per cent, while net NPA ratio too improved a tad to 0.76 per cent, from 0.78 per cent.
Net restructured book remained at Rs 4,169 crore, little changed from the previous quarter, Kochhar said.
On the provisioning side, she said, "In the September quarter, provisions were up due to one single corporate account which we had provided for. Earlier, we had sold our credit exposure in Kingfisher airlines. Currently, we do not have any plan for selling our stressed loan portfolios."
She said the share of the current and savings account (Casa) rose to 40.9 per cent with a net addition of Rs 2,718 crore in the quarter as against 40.7 per cent in the second quarter, and going forward, the bank will maintain its Casa base over 40 per cent.
Kochhar said the bank does not need to raise any equity capital in the near-term with its capital adequacy ratio standing at 19.53 per cent, of which the tier-I (equity capital) is at 13.25 per cent at the end of the reporting period.