S.Y. Bancorp Inc. in Louisville, Ky., reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profits climbed 5% from a year earlier, to $6.3 million, because of tax adjustments.

The $2.1 billion company said that it benefited from roughly $700,000 of tax adjustments related to tax-advantaged investments. This resulted in a lower tax provision for the quarter.

The company’s fourth-quarter net interest income rose 4% from a year earlier, to $18 million, due to growth in loans and other interest-earning assets. S.Y.’s average loans rose 3% from a year earlier, to $1.5 billion, with commercial and industrial loans growing 14%, to $393.7 million.

David Heintzman, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said in the release that S.Y. Bancorp launched an equipment leasing operation in December, which is not expected to contribute directly to the company’s results until 2013. The company is also looking to expand in the Indianapolis market.

The company also reported that 2011 profit rose 2.8% compared to 2010, to $23.6 million.

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