Housing Development Finance Corp’s net profit rose an impressive 17.3 per cent in the January to March quarter over the corresponding quarter last year led by higher disbursal of home loans. Analysts on average expected HDFC to post a net profit of Rs 1,506 crore.

HDFC earned a profit of Rs 1,555 crore in the fiscal fourth quarter as compared to Rs 1,326 crore a year ago. Net income jumped 15.7 per cent to Rs 5,561 crore against Rs 4,806 crore in the year ago period.

Shares in HDFC, the country’s biggest mortgage major, rose nearly 3 per cent after the earnings announcement.

HDFC’s net interest margin, a key measure of profitability, stood at 4.21 per cent in the March quarter, a marginal fall compared with 4.4 per cent a year ago.

Gross non-performing assets for the January to March quarter stood at 70 basis points and HDFC expects loan spreads to be between 2.2 to 2.25 per cent going forward, Keki Mistry, chief executive officer at HDFC said.

HDFC’s loan book at end-March stood at Rs 1.7 lakh crore, up 20.6 per cent from a year earlier, it said in a statement to the stock exchange.

HDFC announced a dividend of Rs 12.5.

(With inputs from Reuters)