An increase in commercial lending boosted quarterly earnings at Provident New York Bancorp (PBNY) in Montebello, N.Y.

The $4 billion-asset company posted a profit of $2.3 million, compared with a loss of $493,000 a year earlier, for its fiscal-year fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Earnings per share were 6 cents, the company said Monday.

Excluding expenses related to Provident’s acquisition of Gotham Bank of New York, the company had a profit of $6.9 million, or 17 cents per share. The deal, which closed in August, gave Provident an additional $434 million of assets, $209.4 million of loans and $368.5 million of deposits.

Net loans were $2.1 billion, up more than 24% from a year earlier. Commercial real estate and commercial business loans increased 55%, to $1.4 billion.

Provident implemented a team approach in commercial banking that “facilitated the significant growth in loans and deposits for the year,” Jack Kopnisky, president and chief executive of Provident, said in a news release.

vNet interest income totaled $25.2 million, up almost 11% from a year earlier. Noninterest income remained relatively flat at $9 million from a year earlier. Increases in deposit fees and service charges and gains from the sale of loans were partly offset by a decrease in the net gain on sales of securities.

 

Noninterest expenses rose 18%, to $28.8 million, from a year earlier. Merger-related charges of $4.5 million were the main reason for that increase. The quarter also included $3.2 million of restructuring charges.

Nonperforming loans decreased 2%, to $39.8 million, from a year earlier. Provident disposed of a $3 million construction loan and completed the foreclosure on another $1.5 million loan from the same portfolio. Its provision for loans losses fell 60%, to $3.5 million, year over year.

For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Provident reported income of $19.9 million, up more than 69% from a year earlier.

Provident also said that in October it had agreed to sell investment advisory firm Hudson Valley Investment Advisors.

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