Interest income and fees boosted Chemical Financial's quarterly results.

Earnings at the $5.9 billion-asset company in Midland, Mich., rose 4.5% from a year earlier, to $11.7 million.

Chemical (CHFC) said that its net interest income rose 2.1% from a year earlier, to $48 million. The net interest margin compressed 10 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.74%.

Noninterest income rose 21% from a year earlier, to $13.9 million, because of higher fee income. Noninterest expense rose roughly 9% from the fourth quarter of 2011, to $41.2 million, primarily because of expenses related to Chemical's purchase of 21 branches from Independent Bank in Ionia, Mich.

Total loans increased 8% from a year earlier, to $4.1 billion, because of increased commercial and consumer lending. The loan-loss provision fell 2% from a year earlier, to $5 million.

"Increased net interest income, noninterest income and a lower provision for loan losses further drove earnings, while key asset quality and loan loss metrics improved materially over the course of the year," David Ramaker, Chemical's chief executive, said in a press release.

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