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    AU Small Finance Bank net soars 105% to Rs 346 cr in Q4

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    AU Small Finance Bank net soars 105% to Rs 346 cr in Q4

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    Lower provisioning for bad loans and a better business environment helped shore up AU SFB's net profit. However, for the full year, the lender's net profit saw a slight dip.

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    AU Small Finance Bank (SFB) on April 26 said its net profit soared 105 percent to Rs 346 crore in the quarter ended March 2022, supported by lower provisioning for bad loans and improvement in business scenario. The Jaipur-based company had posted a net profit of Rs 169 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal 2020-21.

    Total income during January-March period rose to Rs 1,978.41 crore, from Rs 1,539.54 crore in the same quarter of 2020-21, the bank said in a regulatory filing. The net interest margin -- difference between interest paid and interest received -- during the quarter improved to 6.3 percent from 5.7 percent in the year-ago period. The cost of funds for the bank reduced to 5.7 percent from 6.5 percent.

    For the full year 2021-22, the lender posted a net profit of Rs 1,130 crore, down slightly from Rs 1,171 crore in 2020-21. However, the full-year income rose by 21 percent to Rs 6,915 crore. The net interest income jumped by 37 percent to Rs 3,234 crore, the bank said.

    On the asset quality front, AU SFB witnessed significant improvement with the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) falling to 2 percent of the gross advances as of March 31, 2022, against 4.3 percent a year ago. Likewise, the net NPAs (or bad loans) were trimmed to 0.5 percent as against 2.2 percent.

    Apart from a provision of Rs 653 crore against the GNPA pool, the bank has additionally maintained a provision buffer of Rs 192 crore against restructured book, contingency provision of Rs 157 crore, floating provision of Rs 41 crore and standard provision of Rs 139 crore, the SFB said. The deposits crossed Rs 50,000 crore and stood at Rs 52,585 crore, up 46 percent year-on-year and 19 percent quarter-on-quarter.

    Also, there was the highest ever quarterly disbursement of Rs 10,295 crore in March 2022, up by 39 percent. The provision coverage ratio stood at 75 percent against 50 percent earlier.

    The bank said its digital properties like AU 0101, video banking, credit cards and UPI QR continue to see strong momentum. The bank has issued 1.7 lakh-plus credit cards and installed over 4.8 lakh QR codes till March 31, 2022. The board of directors recommended offering bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1. It also recommended a dividend of Re 1 per equity share (pre-bonus issue) or Rs 0.50 per share (ex-bonus issue) for 2021-22.

    "Our financial performance in the current quarter has been quite strong and we have used the headroom available, judiciously, to secure our future by tightening our provisioning policy, increasing our coverage ratio, creating floating provision and expanding our board. "This, coupled with our investments in people, digital assets and brand-building has enabled us to build a customer-centric, future-ready bank," said Sanjay Agarwal, MD and CEO, AU Small Finance Bank.

    The bank expanded its presence to 39 new touchpoints in the form of asset centres, bank branches, bank outlets (BOs) and smart BC and its network is spread across 919 touchpoints as on March 31, 2022. AU SFB said during the quarter, it has also tied up with Tata Motors to offer financing options to customers.

    Further, it strengthened the board and appointed Kamlesh Shivji Vikamsey, Senior Partner of Khimji Kunverji & Co LLP, as non-executive independent director (additional director) with effect from April 25, 2022 for a period of three years, subject to the approval of shareholders. The stock of AU SFB closed at Rs 1,416 apiece on BSE, up 3.71 percent from the previous close.

    (With inputs from PTI)
    For more details, watch the accompanying video
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