Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach (FMBL) in California posted higher quarterly profits as lending grew.

The company earned $15 million in the fourth quarter, up 14% from the same period in 2012.

Net interest income climbed 8%, to $41.9 million. A 9% increase in income from loans and more revenue from securities held-to-maturity contributed to the upturn.

Noninterest income increased 16%, to $7.2 million, thanks in part to growth in income from merchant bankcards and other real estate owned.

Higher costs from salaries and benefits as well as real-estate occupancy pushed the company's noninterest expenses to $27.2 million, a 3% increase from the same period in 2012.

The company did not have a loan-loss provision in either year.

The $5.2 billion-asset Farmers & Merchants has 23 branches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

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