Blackhawk Bancorp Inc. of Beloit, Wis., reported a 52% increase in fourth-quarter earnings from a year earlier as an improved net interest margin offset higher credit costs.

The company reported a profit of $886,000 for the quarter, compared with $582,000 a year earlier. Earnings for the full year rose 55%, to $3 million.

The $540 million-asset company's margin expanded 26 basis points from a year earlier, to 4.12%.

The loan-loss provision rose by 65% from a year earlier, to $1.1 billion. Nonperforming assets rose 29% from a year earlier, to $8.8 million, or 2.61% of total loans.

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