Mumbai, Feb 4: The country’s largest lender SBI today reported a 4.20 per cent decline in consolidated December quarter net profit at Rs 6,257.55 crore, largely because of a higher base in the year-ago period where it had benefitted from a Rs 4,500-crore one-off income.

On a standalone basis, the city-headquartered lender’s net profit came in at Rs 5,196.22 crore as against Rs 5,583.36 crore in the year-ago period and Rs 4,574.16 crore in the preceding September quarter.

SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara told reporters that the year-ago period had seen the resolution of the Essar Steel loans, resulting in an over Rs 4,000-crore interest income and Rs 500 crore other income benefit.

For the reporting quarter, its core net interest income grew 3.75 per cent to Rs 27,779 crore on the back of a 6.73 per cent credit growth and a 0.21 per cent contraction in the net interest margin to 3.12 per cent.

The bank, which controls over a fifth of the overall system, witnessed a healthy growth of over 15 per cent in retail advances. These loans now constitute 61 per cent of the overall book.

Khara said core personal loans are at 39 per cent of the book and the bank sees its share growing to 45 per cent in a year.

He said the bank has preferences like salaried and new to credit customers while making its choices, and will continue to grow this book without compromising on risk. – PTI