Crediting loan growth and better asset management, Bank of Boston Corp. posted a 21% first-quarter increase in profits, earning $125 million, while BayBanks Inc. showed a whopping 48% improvement to $30.5 million.

Meanwhile, Bridgeport, Conn.-based People's Bank saw its profits drop marginally to $15.7 million. The $6.4 billion-asset company said it would have shown a substantial increase on a pretax basis.

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