Synovus Financial in Columbus, Ga., reported lower quarterly earnings as salaries and personnel expenses increased.

The $29.2 billion-asset company said in a press release Tuesday that its first-quarter profit fell about 3% from a year earlier to $50 million.

Noninterest expenses rose by 5% to $188.2 million, as salaries and other personnel costs increased by 5% to $101.4 million. The increase was tempered by a 30% decline in advertising expenses, to $2.4 million, and a nearly 72% decrease in costs tied to foreclosed real estate, to $2.7 million.

Revenue rose 5% to $281.3 million.

Net interest income rose 7% to $218.2 million. Total loans increase 8% to $22.8 billion, but the net interest margin fell 1 basis point to 3.27%. Synovus' multifamily portfolio increased by more than 24% to $1.5 billion, and credits for office buildings rose 21% to $1.6 billion. The loan-loss provision more than doubled, to $9.4 million.

Noninterest income fell 4% to $63.1 million, as brokerage revenue dropped more than 10% to $6.5 million, and mortgage banking income slid 15% to $5.5 million.

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