Centura Banks Inc. said second-quarter profits rose 20%, to $24.1 million, boosted by an unexpectedly strong 6% gain in fee revenues. Earnings per share of 89 cents beat the consensus by a penny.

The $7.6 billion-asset bank is one of the first to report this quarter. Analysts said banks are expected to show an average 11% gain in second- quarter earnings on the strength of fee revenues.

Centura's noninterest income rose to $33.5 million, fueled by a rise in fees from consumer businesses. Mortgage fees rose 65%, to $4.6 million. Insurance and brokerage commissions rose 37%, to $4.8 million. Deposit fees rose 20%, to $11.5 million.

The bank has been expanding its consumer presence in the Tarheel State, opening an additional five branches in Hannaford supermarkets during the quarter. Centura now has 30 supermarket offices.

Loans also showed momentum, particularly on the commercial side, the bank said. The total on the books has grown 8% since the beginning of the year, to $4.9 billion. Expenses rose 19%, to $68 million.

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