People's United Financial in Bridgeport, Conn., reported higher first-quarter profits as it increased lending for both commercial and residential real estate.

Net income at the $39 billion-asset company rose 6% to $62.9 million from a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 5% to 21 cents.

Net interest income after the provision for loan losses rose 5% to $230 million. The net interest margin narrowed by 8 basis points to 2.83%. Loans rose 6% to $28.5 billion. Commercial real estate loans rose 6% to $10 billion while residential mortgages increased 11% to $5.6 billion.

Noninterest income fell 8% to $82 million on lower commercial banking lending fees, bank service charges and customer interest rate swap income.

Noninterest expense fell 0.1% to $217 million. The efficiency ratio worsened to 62.7% from 61.9%.

Also on Thursday, People's United said it had agreed to acquire Eagle Insurance Group in Raynham, Mass. Eagle provides property and casualty insurance services to heating oil and propane suppliers, trucking companies and other industry sectors. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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