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Empire Bancorp of Islandia reports increase in net income

Higher interest income from an expanded loan pool propelled Empire Bancorp Inc., the holding company of Empire National Bank, to a 78.9 percent increase in net income for the first quarter, the company announced Tuesday.

Total loans at the Islandia-based banking company rose $74.4 million to $314.3 million, sending net income up $198,000 to $449,000, or 10 cents per share.

"Earnings, largely driven by growth in net interest income, reflect our prudent management of capital and balance sheet mix," said chairman and chief executive Douglas Manditch.

The bank, with branches in Islandia, Shirley, Port Jefferson and Mineola, reported that total assets climbed to $489.2 million from $441.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

"Even after absorbing the additional costs of our Mineola branch, which opened in November 2013, noninterest expenses grew only 3.1 percent as compared to the first three months of 2013," said president and chief operating officer Thomas Buonaiuto.

Shares of Empire Bancorp rose 5 cents to close at $9.75 Tuesday.

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