First of Long Island Corp., a banking company based in Glen Head, said profit rose by 9.5 percent in the first quarter as it set less aside for losses on loans.
The corporate parent of the 36-branch First National Bank of Long Island said Tuesday net income was $5.6 million, or 62 cents a share, in the three months ended March 31, representing increases from a year earlier of 9.5 percent and 6.9 percent respectively.
The company cited as the main reason a $1.3-million decrease in its provision for loan losses, partially offset by increases in noninterest expense of $603,000 and income tax expense of $330,000.
The increase in noninterest expense includes higher wage and benefits costs for employees.
Because of low interest rates, net interest income for the quarter increased by only $136,000, to $15.2 million, while net interest margin declined by six basis points, to 3.31 percent, First of Long Island said.
Net interest income and margin represent the differences between what a bank earns in interest on loans and securities and what it pays out to depositors.
First of Long Island said total assets rose by 1.5 percent from a year earlier to $2.1 billion at the end of the first quarter.
The company's shares rose 42 cents Tuesday to close at $30.21.