India's ICICI Bank meets Q4 forecasts with 21 pct gain in net profit

MUMBAI, April 26 Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:02am EDT

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MUMBAI, April 26 (Reuters) - India's No.2 lender, ICICI Bank Ltd, posted a 21 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, in line with estimates, led by higher loan growth, it said on Friday.

The bank posted a net profit of about 23 billion rupees ($425 million) for the January-March quarter, compared with 19.02 billion rupees a year earlier. Net interest income, or the difference between income earned and interest expended, rose 22.5 percent to nearly 38 billion rupees.

Analysts, on average, had estimated net profit of 22.84 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net non-performing loans at the bank stood at 0.77 percent of its total assets compared with 0.73 percent a year earlier.

Net interest margin, a key gauge of profitability for banks, stood at 3.11 percent for the year-ended March compared with 2.73 percent a year ago, it said in a statement.

($1 = 54.1900 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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