Crediting loan growth, Buffalo-based First Empire State Corp. said Tuesday that earnings rose 15% last year to $117.3 million, or $15.71 per share, from $102 million, or $13.42 a share, in 1993.

The $10.5 billion-asset bank's fourth-quarter earnings increased 17% to $31.9 million, or $4.35 per share, from $26.6 million, or $3.50 per share, in 1993's fourth quarter.

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