First Niagara Financial Group Inc. in Buffalo reported a 75% increase in second-quarter net income Thursday.

The $20.5 billion-asset company boosted earnings to $20 million, or 10 cents a share, from $11.4 million, or 8 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2009.

First Niagara also reported credit-quality improvement. Nonperforming loans fell 4.6%, to $74.3 million from the first quarter, and net chargeoffs declined by 15.8%, to $10.1 million.

The provision for loan losses was $11 million, a decrease from $13.1 million in the first quarter, but an increase from $8.9 million a year earlier.

First Niagara completed its acquisition of Harleysville National Corp. of Pennsylvania April 9 and had a "near flawless" integration, First Niagara's chief executive, John Koelmel, said in a press release.

The company had retained 95% of customer deposits, and sold nearly $300 million of Harleysville's distressed assets at the end of the quarter.

First Niagara's capital levels took a dip after the acquisition. It had a total risk-based capital ratio of 15.09% as of June 30, compared with 18.65% as of March 31. Its tangible common equity ratio was 8.62%, compared with 10.5% in March.

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