First of Long Island Corp. in Glen Head, N.Y., said Monday that 2010 earnings increased 36.6%, to $18.4 million.

The $1.7 billion-asset company also said earnings per share increased 25% for the year, to $2.30 from $1.84 in 2009. Fourth-quarter net income grew 81.8%, to $4.6 million, and earnings per share increased 53.3%, to 46 cents, from a year earlier.

First of Long Island attributed the annual earnings per share growth to an increase in the average balance of loans and tax-exempt municipal securities, and decreases in the rates paid on deposits.

The company's fourth-quarter loan-loss provision fell 57.5% from a year earlier, to $1.55 million, but increased 87.8% from the third quarter, resulting in a decrease in net income from the previous quarter. The rise in the provision was driven by an $870,000 impairment reserve on one nonaccrual loan.

Nonperforming assets nearly tripled from a year ago, to $8 million at Dec. 31, but represented less than 1% of the bank's total assets.

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