MIAMI - Intercontinental Bank said first quarter earnings rose 18%, to $3.5 million.

The annualized returns on assets and equity were 1.25% and 15.44%, respectively, compared with 1.08% and 14.36% last year, the bank said.

The $1.1 billion-asset company attributed the increase to an improvement in net interest income and strong loan growth. The net interest margin grew by 68 basis points to 5.24%.

The nonperforming asset ratio improved slightly, to 0.89%, the bank said.

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