Banner Corp. in Walla Walla, Wash., reported higher quarterly profit that reflected its purchase of AmericanWest Bank.

The $9.8 billion-asset Banner said in a press release Monday that its first-quarter earnings rose 47% from a year earlier, to $17.8 million, or 65 cents a share. Banner bought AmericanWest in October.

Revenue from core operations rose 86% to $111 million.

Net interest income nearly doubled to $46.5 million. Net loans rose 76% to $7.1 billion, while the net interest margin expanded by 4 basis points, to 4.13%. Total deposits rose 86% to $8 billion, and Banner touted its ability to convert about $420 million of former AmericanWest interest-bearing deposits to non-interest-bearing deposits.

Noninterest income increased 45% to $20 million. Deposit fees and other service charges increased 45% to $11.8 million.

Noninterest expense doubled to $84 million, largely reflecting merger-related expenses and costs tied to operating more branches.


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