PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - Buoyed by strong gains in fee income, United Bankshares Inc. reported record earnings for the second quarter and first half.

The $5 billion-asset company said its second-quarter net income increased 9%, to $19.8 million, from the year-earlier period. Per-share earnings also increased 9%, to 47 cents.

Half-year earnings were up 8%, at $39.1 million. Despite a $576,000 loss from the sale of securities, noninterest income was up nearly 19%, to $17.7 million; United attributed the increase to expanded volume in trust and mortgage banking services.

Net interest income was down nearly 2%, to $90.4 million.

United has 75 branches in West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington. It recently announced an agreement to buy $415 million-asset Century Bancshares Inc. in Washington.

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