A rise in fee income and interest lifted first-quarter results at Colony Bankcorp (CBAN) in Fitzgerald, Ga.

Earnings at the $1.1 billion-asset company were triple those from a year earlier, to $567,000.

Net interest income rose 1.1% from the first quarter of 2012, to $9 million, largely because the net interest margin expanded by 22 basis points, to 3.45%.

Noninterest income rose 22% from a year earlier, to $2.2 million, primarily because of service charges and mortgage-related fees. Noninterest expense rose 6.3% from a year earlier, to $8.4 million, because of higher personnel costs. The efficiency ratio improved by one percent, to 74.24%.

Colony's loan-loss provision fell 21% from a year earlier, to $1.5 million.

The results "reflected solid results in building on the momentum carrying over from 2012," Ed Loomis, Colony's chief executive, said in a press release.

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