ICICI Bank, India's top private lender, Friday reported a 36 percent increase in its net profit in the first quarter of the financial year 2012, exceeding the market expectations.

The company's net profit after deducting tax stood at Rs 18.15 billion in the quarter, compared to the Rs. 13.32-billion profit it made in the same period a year ago. The consensus estimate was Rs. 17.4 billion.

ICICI Bank's robust results comes in line with the other private lenders like HDFC Bank and Axis Bank which also registered positive first quarter results, meeting market expectations. However, public sector banks like the Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank had disappointed the markets by failing to meet the analysts' expectations.

ICICI's Bank's performance was boosted by the higher net interest income and good loan growth in the quarter.  

The bank's net non-performing loans dropped to 0.71 percent from 1.04 percent. The net interest income, or the difference of interest earned and interest expended, increased 32 percent to 31.9 billion rupees.

"We are maintaining our target of 20% loan growth in FY13. Retail loans are likely to expand at 10-15% through segments like housing, vehicle financing and others. In corporate loans, we will only focus on working capital loans and existing project loans," Chanda Kochhar, managing director & CEO of ICICI Bank, told reporters in a conference call, moneycontrol.com reported.

The company's lower reliance on bulk deposits, higher yield on advances along with an increase in the net interest margin from international divisions boosted the company's higher interest income.

The lender's fee income rose 14.4 percent to Rs. 18.80 billion while its restructured assets dropped marginally to Rs 41.72 billion compared with Rs 42.56 million in the fourth quarter of the last financial year.

The bank's shares were trading more than 3 percent up in the Indian stock markets Friday.