Rockville Financial Inc. eked out just a small profit in the second quarter after it opted to use the proceeds from its recent second-step conversion to pay down debt and hire new talent.

The Connecticut company said late Tuesday that it earned $43,000 in the quarter that ended June 30, or a 99% drop from the $3.5 million it made in the same period last year.

Its profits were largely wiped out by an $8.9 million prepayment penalty it took for paying down $122.2 million of Federal Home Loan Bank advances.

Rockville, with $1.8 billion of assets, paid down its Home Loan Bank with the $171 million it raised when it converted from a mutual holding company to a 100% stock-owned company earlier this year.

The company also added roughly $1.2 million in salary and benefits costs after it hired a number of new commercial bankers, including three in a newly opened office in New Haven.

Excluding those costs, Rockville said it would have earned $2.6 million, or nine cents per share, in the quarter.

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