Double-digit loan growth boosted the bottom line more than 20% at Signature Bank (SBNY) in New York.

Average loans, excluding loans held for sale, reached $7.7 billion in the second quarter — 31% higher than a year earlier. Growth in commercial real estate and multifamily loans and the launch of Signature's specialty finance business, Signature Financial, were the main drivers.

Profits rose 24% in the quarter, to $45.3 million, year over year.

Earnings per share totaled 96 cents, beating estimates from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters by seven cents.

First-half profits rose 23% to $87.7 million, the $15.9 billion-asset Signature said Tuesday.

Net interest income before the provision for loan losses rose almost 19%, to $134.2 million, because of growth in average interest-earning assets.

Signature reported noninterest income of $9.9 million, down almost 3%. Noninterest expense rose roughly 21% to $54.9 million because of the addition of new private-client banking teams and Signature Financial.

The loan-loss provision totaled $10.3 million, down almost 20% year over year, largely because of a decrease in chargeoffs. Second-quarter net chargeoffs totaled $4.7 million, down 39% from a year earlier.

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