Houston's Charter Bancshares Inc. began feeling the full benefit this year of both its eight-year acquisition drive and its companywide cross- selling effort.

The $800 million-asset banking company posted a 62% increase in first- quarter net income, to $2.44 million. The company's net interest margin, bucking a trend, was 4.93% in the quarter, up from 4.34% in the year- earlier period.

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