State-owned Canara Bank on Monday reported a 74 per cent jump in March quarter consolidated net profit to Rs 3,336.51 crore, helped by higher core income and lower provisions.

The Bengaluru-based lender had reported a net profit of Rs 1,918.80 crore in the year-ago period.

For FY23, its post tax profit grew to Rs 11,254.75 crore from Rs 6,124.83 crore in FY22.

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In the latest March quarter, the lender’s core net interest income grew 23 per cent to Rs 8,617 crore. This was due to a 17 per cent growth in advances and a 0.14 per cent expansion in the net interest margin to 3.07 per cent.

Its other income grew 7 per cent to Rs 4,776 crore but was also hit by a 72 per cent decline in the treasury income.

Canara Bank’s managing director and chief executive K Satyanarayana Raju said the bank will aim to grow its overall loan book in double-digit in FY24, and denied it being a moderation, saying the lender believes in over-delivering.

Raju said the bank registered a corporate loan book expansion of over 20 per cent in FY23, and has a sizeable pipeline of loans in various sectors like infrastructure where it is witnessing a healthy demand.

According to him, loans worth Rs 22,000 crore have been sanctioned for various projects that are yet to start. Contrary to some sections of the industry, which is witnessing an impact in home loan demand due to the rising interest rates, Raju said the bank is not experiencing any such trend and is aiming to better on the 14 per cent growth observed in FY23.

Interestingly, Raju said the demand has held up well in the affordable or lower-priced loans segment, and added that it would like to increase penetration in the premium segment where the ticket size is over Rs 2 crore.

The bank reported an improvement in the asset quality with the gross non-performing assets ratio improving to 5.35 per cent from 7.51 per cent in the year-ago period and 5.90 per cent three months ago.

Its overall provisions reduced to Rs 3,097.61 crore from the Rs 3,727.34 crore in the year-ago period, which helped the overall profits.

Canara Bank’s overall capital adequacy stood at 16.68 per cent as of March 31, 2023 and Raju said it will not be needing an equity capital raise for up to the next two years.

The lender’s overall network stood at 9,706 branches, and its board has decided to put up 250 more branches in FY24 to bolster the share of the low-cost current and savings accounts deposits, Raju said, adding that branch rationalisation will also continue simultaneously.

The CASA (Current Account Savings Account) deposit share declined and the overall deposit growth also trailed at over 8 per cent.

Raju said the slower deposit accretion is part of a strategy to increase the credit to deposit ratio.

The bank’s board has recommended a dividend of Rs 12 per share.

Shares of the bank declined 1.63 per cent to Rs 313.35 apiece on the BSE on Monday as against a gains of 1.16 per cent in the benchmark index Sensex.