Republic Bancorp (RBCAA) in Louisville, Ky., reported a slight bump in second-profits due to modest loan growth but results were tempered somewhat by a sharp drop in mortgage banking income.

The $3.4 billion-asset company said Friday that its second-quarter earnings increased 3% from the same period last year, to $6.3 million. It attributed the gains to a 6% increase in loans that was driven in part by activity in its correspondent and warehouse lending units.

Its earnings per share of 30 cents, however, fell two cents shy of consensus estimates. The company said that fee income fell 11% year over year, to $9.5 million, due primarily to a 63% drop in mortgage banking revenue.

Earnings were also aided by improved expense control. Noninterest expenses decreased 10%, to $26.7 million, as the company reduced its headcount. Furthermore, a decline in problem assets helped lower legal expenses and costs of maintaining foreclosed properties.

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