Profit rose at MetroCorp Bancshares (MCBI) in Houston as expense cuts offset a decline in loan revenue.

The $1.6 billion-asset company reported Friday that it earned $2.8 million in the second quarter, up 6% from the same period in 2012. Per-share earnings of 15 cents met the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Net interest income fell 5%, to $13 million, as net interest margin decreased 32 basis points, to 3.5%.

Noninterest income rose 11%, to $1.9 million, as a gain in "other revenue" offset declining fee income. Noninterest expense fell 5%, to $10.7 million, due mainly to a drop in real estate costs.

Net chargeoffs rose by $20,000, to $975,000, and MetroCorp recorded a loan-loss credit of $25,000, compared with a loss provision of $200,000 in the second quarter of 2012.

One of MetroCorp's two banks, MetroBank, was freed from a regulatory action by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last month.

MetroCorp is also the parent of Metro United Bank in San Diego. It plans to merge its two bank subsidiaries.

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