India's ICICI Bank Q1 net up 25 pct, meets forecast

MUMBAI, July 31 Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:24am EDT

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MUMBAI, July 31 (Reuters) - ICICI Bank Ltd, India's second largest lender by assets, posted on Wednesday a 25.3 percent increase in first-quarter net profit, in line with estimates, led by higher loan growth and income from fees and commissions.

The bank posted a net profit of 22.7 billion Indian rupees ($376.7 million) for the April-June quarter, compared with 18.2 billion rupees a year earlier.

Net interest income rose 19.6 percent to nearly 38.2 billion rupees.

Analysts, on average, had estimated a net profit of 22.4 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net interest margin, a key gauge of profitability for banks, stood at 3.27 percent for the quarter-ended June compared with 3.01 percent a year ago, ICICI said in a statement.

Asset quality at the bank worsened slightly, with net non-performing loans at 0.82 percent of its total assets compared with 0.71 percent a year earlier. Provisions for bad loans and contingencies rose 27 percent to 5.93 billion rupees.

Rival Axis Bank has already posted a better-than-expected 22.5 percent growth in net profit with a marginal increase in bad loans. Non-performing loans at No. 3 lender HDFC Bank also ticked up in the June quarter. ($1 = 60.3625 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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