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Since 1st March, 1999
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SBI beats rate cycle in profit run

Calcutta, May 20: It’s party time at the country’s largest public sector bank. State Bank of India has topped forecasts and come up with brilliant numbers for 2004-05.

Net profit rose almost 17 per cent to Rs 4,304.52 crore compared with Rs 3,681 crore in 2003-04. On a consolidated basis, the figure was Rs 5,597.97 crore.

Operating profit increased 15 per cent to Rs 10,990.36 crore from Rs 9,553.46 crore in 2003-04. The consolidated figure was Rs 15, 200.31 crore.

The numbers sent the bank’s share racing to Rs 649 on the National Stock Exchange today, up Rs 10.40 or 1.63 per cent over its previous close.

However, treasury profit suffered during the year due to hardening of yields on government securities. It slipped to Rs 1,060.98 from Rs 3815.62 crore in 2003-04.

The bank maintained its profitability by increasing net interest income and controlling operating costs at a moderate level of 8.97 per cent against 16.40 per cent in the previous year.

Backed by a growth in interest income on advances and lower cost of deposits, net interest income stood at Rs 13,944.62 crore against Rs 11,186.32 crore in the previous year, a rise of 24.66 per cent.

“However, if profit on sale of investment is excluded, operating profit would be Rs 9,215.06 crore against Rs 6,480 crore in 2003-04,” chairman A. K. Purwar said.

Fourth-quarter net profit stood at Rs 1,064.88 crore compared with Rs 872.46 crore in the corresponding previous period.

SBI has announced a dividend of 125 per cent for 2004-05. “We have decided on a 100 per cent regular and a 25 per cent special dividend to commemorate 200 years of the bank,” Purwar said. SBI was set up on June 2, 1806 as Bank of Calcutta. It was renamed the Bank of Bengal on January 2, 1809.

In 2004-05, advances jumped 26.90 per cent to Rs 2,09,742 crore from Rs 1,65,278 crore in 2003-04. The bank is eyeing a 23 per cent growth this year.

Deposits grew to Rs 3,56,643 crore from Rs 3,17,762 crore in the previous year. Purwar said the bank hopes to clock a 16 per cent growth in the current year. Net non-performing assets stood at Rs 5349 crore on March 31 against Rs 5442 crore a year ago. Gross NPAs were at Rs 12,456 crore.

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