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ICICI Bank Q4 net up 35 pc; to pay 85 pc dividend

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CONSUMER LENDING MAIN DRIVER: Mr K.V. Kamath, CEO & MD, ICICI Bank, and Ms Kalpana Morparia, Deputy MD, at a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday. — Paul Noronha

Mumbai , April 30

ICICI Bank Ltd has reported a 35-per cent increase in profit after tax at Rs 615 crore for the fourth quarter of 2004-2005, compared to Rs 455 crore in the year-ago period.

Higher net interest income and fee income drove profits up, said Ms Kalpana Morparia, Deputy Managing Director.

Net interest income moved up 44 per cent to Rs 790 crore from Rs 547 crore, while fee income grew 56 per cent to Rs 585 crore (Rs 374 crore) during the quarter.

Total income was higher during the quarter at Rs 3,637.54 crore from Rs 3,022.94 crore in the year-ago period.

The board has recommended a dividend of Rs 8.50 per share (85 per cent), including 10 per cent to mark the completion of 50 years in finance by the ICICI group.

For the year ended March 31, 2005, ICICI Bank reported a profit after tax of Rs 2005 crore, higher by 22 per cent from the previous year. Net interest income grew 43 per cent to Rs 2,839 crore and fee income increased 79 per cent to Rs 2,098 crore for the year.

Treasury income fell 46 per cent during the year to Rs 711 crore (Rs 1,314 crore).

Retail assets rose 68 per cent to Rs 56,133 crore (Rs 33,424 crore).

The bank now has the largest retail portfolio in India.

Deposits moved up 47 per cent to Rs 99,819 crore. The bank's total advances grew 46 per cent to Rs 91,405 crore.

It maintained a growth momentum in the retail segment. In the home loan segment, the bank disbursed Rs 18,873 crore. "We expect a growth of 35-40 per cent this fiscal in this segment because the demographics will not change," Ms Chanda Kochhar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, said.

Consumer lending will be the main driver for ICICI Bank, at least for one more year, said Mr K.V. Kamath, Managing Director and CEO of the bank. "ICICI Bank expects to maintain the growth in consumer lending as last year and retain its market share and lead in the industry," he said. Corporate India, according to him, sources finance first from its own resources followed by capital markets, foreign loans and domestic funds. Therefore, the focus will be on consumer loans.

Retail assets constituted 61 per cent of total advances and 58 per cent of customer assets. The bank's net customer assets were Rs 96,917 crore.

At the end of March 2005, the bank had a credit card base of about 3.3 million.

"ICICI Bank will probably be the first bank to put a `do not call' list of its customers on its Web site," Ms Kochhar said. This will be operational in two-three days.

At the end of March 2005, securitised assets stood at Rs 17,000 crore, of which retail assets amounted to Rs 13,000 crore.

The bank's net non-performing assets constituted 2 per cent of customer assets. Its board has extended Mr Kamath's term as MD and CEO for three years till 2009.

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