South State reported higher second quarter earnings compared to last year, as the Columbia, S.C., company expanded through the combination of SCBT and First Financial Holdings.

The $7.9 billion-asset bank's profits were $17.9 million. Operating earnings were 92 cents per share, beating an estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by two cents. Excluding merger expenses and including dividends, its earnings were 74 cents per share.

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