Hanmi Financial (HAFC) in Los Angeles reported dip in quarterly profits because of costs related to its planned acquisition of Central Bancorp.

The company earned $10 million in the fourth quarter. While profits were down 29% from the same period a year ago, the decline was largely owed to the $5.5 million tax benefit Hanmi received in the fourth quarter of 2012. Compared to the third quarter, Hanmi's profits fell 3%. Earnings per share of 31 cents were 1 cent lower than the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Noninterest expense rose 3.1% from the fourth quarter of 2012, to $20.2 million. Hanmi cited reviews of strategic transactions as a leading cause of the increase. The $3 billion-asset Hanmi agreed in December to pay $50 million for Central Bancorp in Garland, Texas. The deal will give Hanmi roughly $4.3 billion in assets, $2.8 billion in gross loans and $3.8 billion in deposits, making it the second-largest Korean-American bank in the U.S.

Hanmi's net interest income climbed 4.4%, to $27.6 million. Gross loans rose 8.4% from the previous year, to $2.2 billion. Interest expense fell 10%, primarily because the company paid no interest on junior subordinated debentures in the fourth quarter. Its net interest margin increased 12 basis points, to 3.98%.

Noninterest income increased 1.5%, to $7.6 million. The increase was partially driven by higher revenue from insurance commissions and gains on the sale of investment securities.

Hanmi did not put aside a loan-loss provision in the fourth quarter of 2013 or 2012. Net chargeoffs plunged 94%, to $166,000.

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