Metro Bank of Harrisburg, Pa., which is facing a challenge from an activist investor, posted higher quarterly earnings.

The $3 billion-asset company's third-quarter earnings rose 18% from a year earlier, to $5.5 million, or 38 cents a share.

Net interest income rose 9%, to $24.9 million. Loans increased 13%, to $1.9 billion. The net interest margin was unchanged, at 3.49%.

Noninterest income increased 1.5%, to $7.6 million. Noninterest expenses fell 0.3%, to $22.4 million, while the loan-loss provision fell 75%, to $2.1 million.

Metro has faced pressure from shareholders to cut costs and sell itself, manifesting itself now in a board of directors proxy battle.

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