The benefits of Huntington Bancshares’ purchase of FirstMerit came into a sharper focus as the Columbus, Ohio, company reported fourth-quarter results.

Despite recording $96 million in merger-related costs, the $100 billion-asset Huntington’s earnings rose 19% from a year earlier, to $212 million. The quarter was the first full reporting period since Huntington completed the $3.4 billion acquisition of FirstMerit in Akron, Ohio.

Huntington, led by CEO Stephen Steinour, produced record revenue and absorbed slightly higher expenses after buying FirstMerit.

“We are very pleased with our strong close to 2016,” Stephen Steinour, Huntington’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a press release. Last year’s performance “demonstrated continued progress toward achieving our long-term financial goals.”

Revenue rose 39% to $1.1 billion, a new record for the company. Operating expenses, however, jumped 45% to $748 million, driven in large part by a $71 million rise in personnel costs. For the full year, Huntington achieved its goal of positive operating leverage.

Huntington said it expects to generate positive operating leverage again this year, projecting a 20% increase in revenues. The company said $255 million in merger-related cost saves should be fully phased in by the end of the third quarter.

Acquiring the $26.8 billion-asset FirstMerit had a dramatic effect on Huntington’s loans and deposits. Loans increased 33% from a year earlier to $66.4 billion. Deposits jumped 39% to $77 billion.

Huntington maintained its strong presence in indirect automobile lending, originating $1.4 billion in loans in the fourth quarter. The company also completed a $1.5 billion auto-loan securitization during the quarter, “demonstrating strong investor demand for our superior automobile loan production quality,” Steinour said.

The FirstMerit deal did not have a noticeable impact on asset quality. Nonperforming loans totaled $423 million, or 0.63% of total loans at Dec. 31. That compares with $372 million, or 0.74% of total loans, a year earlier.

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