Profits at Webster Financial increased 12% in the fourth quarter over the same period in 2015, to $55.5 million, thanks to record loan originations and a healthy gain on the sale of an asset. Earnings per share climbed 11%, to 54 cents.
In a news release Thursday, the Waterbury, Conn., parent of Webster Bank said total revenue climbed nearly 10% in the quarter, to $255.9 million on record levels of both interest and noninterest income.
Interest income climbed 6.9% year over year, to $185.3 million, aided largely by a record $1.8 billion of loan originations in the quarter. Total loans increased 8.6% year over year, to $17 billion, with commercial and commercial real estate loans accounting for the bulk of the increase.
Noninterest income climbed 18.3%, to $70.6 million, on higher fees from loans and deposit services and a one-time, $7.3 million gain on the sale of an undisclosed asset.
Expenses increased nearly 13% year over year, reflecting investments in technology and its Health Savings Account business line and higher costs related to its Boston-area expansion.
The $26 billion-asset Webster opened 17 new banking centers in Greater Boston in 2016 even it has been closing branches in some of its more traditional markets. The company announced this week that it will close eight more branches in Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York over the next several months due to a sharp decline in foot traffic in recent years. The company said that the median distance between branches slated for closure and others that will remain open is two miles.