India's SBI Card second-quarter profit rises 52% on robust consumer spending

BENGALURU (Reuters) - SBI Cards and Payment Services reported a 52.4% jump in second-quarter profit on Thursday, as it issued more credit cards and Indians spent more going into the festive season. SBI Card, backed by top lender State Bank of India, has increased its card base during July and August amid stiff competition, analysts have noted, even as the industry deactivated inactive cards in line with a central bank rule. Profit rose to 5.26 billion Indian rupees ($63.95 million)for the three months ending Sept. 30 from 3.45 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in an exchange filing.

Total revenue from operations rose 28% to 32.97 billion rupees. Card-in-force, or the number of cards issued and outstanding, grew 18% to 14.8 million as of quarter-end, while spends surged 43%. Gross bad loans as a percentage of gross advances - a measure of asset quality – eased to 2.14% at the end of September, from 2.24% at the end of June.

($1 = 82.2500 Indian rupees)

(This story corrects company name to SBI Card, from SBI Cards, in headline and paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Nishit Navin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)