New Delhi, May 7 -- ICICI Bank Ltd posted a 50% decline in net profit for fiscal year 2018-19 at Rs.3,363.30 crore because of higher expenses and provisions. Operating profit however grew 17% to Rs.22,072 crore, suggesting an improvement in core operational performance at the private sector lender.

On a quarterly basis, net profit in the fiscal fourth quarter fell 5% year-on-year to Rs.969 crore, widely trailing estimates of Rs.2,292.1 crore in a Bloomberg poll of 23 analysts.

The bank's provision coverage ratio, which is a measure of the funds set aside to cover bad loans, increased to 70.6% at the end of the March quarter from 47.7% in the same period last year.

The bank therefore saw improved asset quality on account of higher provisi...