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First of Long Island earnings up 17 percent

A First National Bank of Long Island branch

A First National Bank of Long Island branch on East Merrick Road in Valley Stream in 2012. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

First of Long Island Corp. said Thursday that higher loan balances and increases in nontaxable securities helped boost its third quarter net earnings by almost 17 percent from a year earlier.

The corporate parent of the 39-branch First National Bank of Long Island, based in Glen Head, said net income was $6.1 million or 43 cents a share in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $5.2 million or 38 cents a share a year earlier.

First of Long Island said quarterly and nine-month income rose largely on higher net interest income, the difference between the revenue generated from a bank's assets and the expenses associated with liabilities. That increase, 9.8 percent for the quarter to $17.2 million, in turn, was due mostly to higher loan balances and increases in nontaxable securities, the bank said.

"The bank's continued ability to grow loans is attributable to a variety of factors, including competitive pricing, targeted solicitation efforts, advertising campaigns, and broker relationships for both residential and commercial mortgages," the company said in a statement.

Noninterest income also rose.

First National of Long Island recently opened branches in Oceanside and Manhasset and expects to open its 40th branch in Greenlawn by year-end. "Management is continuing to evaluate sites for future branch expansion," the statement said.

Total assets were $2.57 million at Sept. 30, up 7 percent from Dec. 31.

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