Buoyed by strong gains in both interest and fee income, Community Bank System Inc. in DeWitt, N.Y., said Monday that its third-quarter earnings increased 6.9% from a year earlier, to $11.8 million, or 39 cents a share, in line with the average estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Net interest income rose 8.1%, to $37.1 million. The $4.8 billion-asset company attributed the increase to a 6.8% increase in average loans and a 26-basis-point improvement in its net interest margin, to 3.82%.

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