TFS Financial in Cleveland reported higher fourth-quarter profit, citing a $1 million negative loan-loss provision.

The $12.4 billion-asset company's net income rose 7.3% to $17.9 million from a year earlier. Earnings per share were unchanged at 6 cents.

Net interest income after the provision for loan losses rose 5.4% to $68.6 million. TFS recorded a $1 million negative provision for loan losses, compared with a $2 million provision a year ago. The net interest margin expanded 11 basis points to 2.25%.

Single-family mortgage loans rose 0.1% to $11.3 billion. Residential mortgages comprise virtually all lending at Third Federal Savings and Loan Association. TFS did not provide a yearly comparison on total loans.

Net loan chargeoffs fell 64% to $1.3 million.

Fee income rose 2.8% to $6.12 million on an increase in death benefits from bank-owned life insurance.

Noninterest expense rose 3.6% to $47.6 million, primarily on employee compensation costs.

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