State-owned Jammu & Kashmir Bank on Thursday reported a net profit of nearly Rs 316 crore for the January-March 2021 quarter, and said it is the highest quarterly profit since March 2014.
The lender had posted a net loss of Rs 294.10 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.
"In one of the sharpest turnarounds of financials in its history, J&K Bank's quarter-on-quarter profit jumped more than four times to Rs 315.75 crore for the fourth quarter of FY 2020-21, from Rs 65.94 crore recorded for the third quarter of the financial year," Jammu & Kashmir Bank said in a regulatory filing.
The bank's income during January-March 2021 stood at Rs 2,129.65 crore, down from Rs 2,277 crore in the year-ago period. For 2020-21, the bank's income was at Rs 8,830.08 crore, lower than Rs 8,992.21 crore in 2019-20.
For the full year 2020-21, the bank posted net profit of Rs 432.12 crore, while there was a net loss of Rs 1,139.41 crore in 2019-20.
The lender said its net interest income increased to Rs 3,770.78 crore during the year from Rs 3,706.67 crore, while the net interest margin for the year stood at 3.64 per cent.
Other income for the entire financial year increased 32 per cent to Rs 719 crore on the back of contribution by the treasury operations, it added.
"Posting its highest quarterly profit since January-March quarter of FY 2013-14, J&K Bank today (on Thursday) capped its incredibly progressive performance by delivering Q4 profits of Rs 315.75 crore despite COVID-19 pandemic induced disruptions," J&K Bank said in a statement.
Its Chairman and Managing Director R K Chibber said it is an outstanding turnaround in numbers for the bank amid the devastating second wave of COVID-19 across the country.
"We have successfully braved the challenges with our steely resolve, prudent balance-sheet management and effective guidance from our directors on board.
"The numbers, especially of Q4 results, are encouraging and will generate a long-term organisational momentum for the steady growth of business," Chibber said.
The lender said it is creating a sufficient provisioning buffer to strengthen its balance sheet further. The bank's provision coverage ratio for the fourth quarter of 2020-21 has improved to 81.97 per cent, against 78.59 per cent recorded a year ago, it said.
Also, the bank's asset quality improved with the gross non-performing assets falling to 9.67 per cent of the gross advances as of March 31, 2021, from 10.97 per cent by March 2020. Net NPAs or bad loans came down to 2.95 per cent from 3.48 per cent.
"It is because of the war-footing efforts put in at all levels of operations by the staff soon after the Supreme Court withdrew its direction to banks to withhold the classification of accounts as NPAs (non-performing assets).
"Notably, we were able to restrict our slippages to below Rs 1,000 crore as against the proforma NPA figure of about Rs 4,600 crore disclosed in our Q3 results," Chibber said.
He said the bank remains alert with regard to any fresh slippages. Directions have been issued at all operative levels to take necessary corrective measures, including a more robust and proactive performance monitoring system with a focus on maintenance of asset quality.
On the business growth, J&K Bank said advances and deposits in the Union territory have jumped 15.8 per cent and 11.4 per cent, respectively, despite the economic slowdown across the country.
Ladakh has witnessed a growth of 15.9 per cent in advances and 29.4 per cent jump in deposits, it said.
Overall, the advances have increased by almost four per cent from Rs 64,399 crore to Rs 66,842 crore during the year reviewed, while deposits have shown a healthy growth of 10.50 per cent from Rs 97,788 crore to Rs 1,08,061 crore.
The bank is well positioned to gain momentum and follows its trajectory of growth in coming quarters, the chairman and managing director added.
The meeting of its board was adjourned for the next day to transact the leftover businesses.
"The item regarding raising of capital by way of employee stock purchase scheme (ESPS) could not be discussed as the meeting has been adjourned for June 18, 2021," it added.
On Wednesday, the compensation committee of its board had recommended to a fundraising of up to Rs 150 crore, in one or more tranches, by issuing 7.5 crore equity shares to eligible employees under ESPS.
Shares of J&K Bank on Thursday closed 1.47 per cent higher at Rs 30.10 apiece on the BSE.