BEIJING— Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. said Friday that its first-quarter net profit rose 14%, thanks to growth in interest income and fee income.

The country's third-largest lender by assets said net profit for the three months ended March 31 rose to 53.43 billion yuan ($8.6 billion), from 47.01 billion yuan a year earlier.

Net interest income rose 16% on year to 103.14 billion yuan and net fee and commission income increased 3% from a year earlier to 26.89 billion yuan.

The bank's net interest margin—the difference between interest paid and received—was 2.96% in the first quarter, up from 2.78% a year earlier.

The bank's outstanding nonperforming loans were 91.99 billion yuan at the end of March. At the end of last year, it reported 87.78 billion yuan in bad loans. The nonperforming loan ratio stood at 1.22% as of the end of March, unchanged from 1.22% at end-2013.

—Grace Zhu