UMB Financial in Kansas City, Mo., reported higher profits as loan growth from a recent acquisition helped offset ongoing declines in its advisory business.

First-quarter profits rose 7% from a year earlier to $36.2 million, the company said in a news release. Earnings per share were 74 cents, or 11 cents higher than an estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Gains from the company's May 2015 acquisition of the $1.2 billion-asset Marquette Financial drove profits higher.

Net interest income jumped 30% to $117.9 million, while total loans increased 29%, to $9.7 billion. The net interest margin expanded 33 basis points, to 2.79%.

Meanwhile, fee-based lines of business were a drag. Noninterest revenue dipped 7% to $116.4 million amid ongoing declines in the company's Scout Funds unit.

"It is likely to take some time for [investment services] to be a meaningful contributor again," Mariner Kemper, UMB's chairman and chief executive, said during a conference call Wednesday to discuss the quarterly results.

Noninterest expenses rose 9%, to $180 million, mostly from higher salary and benefit costs.

The company last year launched an initiative to lower its efficiency ratio to about 70%. That figure stood at 75% at March 31, compared with 76% a year earlier. 

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