NEW DELHI: Private lender Axis Bank on Thursday reported its first-ever loss since listing at Rs 2,188.74 crore for the quarter ended March 2018. The bank, which was listed on the exchanges in 1998, had posted a profit of Rs 1,225.10 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
The Shikha Sharma-led bank saw its provisions and contingencies spiking nearly threefold to Rs 7,179.53 crore in the fourth quarter against Rs 2,581.25 crore last year.
On companys poor performance, MD and CEO Sharma said the bank was nearing an end to the recognition process of bad loans. “Credit risk area was a disappointment for the bank. Infra play did not work out well, and now it is critical that we complete the NPA recognition cycle,” she told reporters.
Axis Banks asset quality also disappointed with percentage of gross non-performing assets rising to 6.77 per cent from 5.04 per cent last year. The figure had stood at 5.28 per cent in the sequential quarter ended December 31.
Percentage of net NPAs jumped to 3.40 per cent against 2.11 per cent on a year-on-year basis and 2.56 per cent sequentially.
Slippages significantly accelerated to Rs 16,536 crore during the quarter under review against Rs 13,135 crore last year. Most of the fresh slippages came from the power sector, followed by infrastructure, engineering & electronics and textiles.
Net interest income of the lender remained almost flat at Rs 4,731 crore during the quarter under review. Net interest margin for Q4FY18 stood at 3.33 per cent. NII for FY18 advanced 3 per cent YoY to Rs 18,618 crore from Rs 18,093 crore during FY17. Net interest margin for FY18 came in at 3.44 per cent.
For the financial year ended March 31, the lender posted a 97.74 per cent YoY fall in net profit to Rs 121.57 crore against Rs 5,467.56 crore last year.
“We continue to have a healthy capital position to grow 20 per cent level next few years without raising funds. The capital position allows us to participate in the growth cycle,” Sharma said.
The lender has been embroiled in a controversy, as its Sharma sought a shorter term after the Reserve Bank of India asked its board to reconsider the fourth three-year term given to her.
Sharmas term as the CEO will come to an end in December this year, bringing curtains down on a position spanning nearly a decade.
On her exit, she told reporters on Thursday that the new leadership was fully committed to the bank's execution strategy.