Sales of loans lifted Third Federal Savings & Loan Association (TFSL) in the company's fiscal first quarter.

Earnings at the $11.4 billion-asset company in Cleveland rose 32% from a year earlier, to $11.2 million.

Net interest income rose 6.4% from year over year, to $68.4 million, because of lower rates of interest on deposits and borrowed funds. The net interest margin widened by seven basis points, to 2.47%.

Noninterest income rose 44% from a year earlier, to $8.2 million, due to gains on loan sales. Noninterest expense of $42.5 million remained roughly unchanged year over year.

Third Federal's loan book fell 2% from a year earlier, to $9.8 billion. The provision for loan losses rose 20% year over year, to $18 million.

In December, regulators terminated an enforcement order that had required Third Federal to obtain an independent assessment of the company's management of interest-rate risk.

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