The Baltimore-area economy provided continued support to banks around the region in the first quarter, with Maryland's second-largest banking company and two community banks showing stronger operations.
First Maryland Bancorp, parent of the First National Bank of Maryland, said net income for the period that ended March 31 rose 9.5 percent, to $28.5 million, from $26.1 million a year ago. The company, a subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks PLC, does not report per-share data.
Loans during the period were up 8.1 percent, to $5.5 billion, although assets fell to $9.3 billion, down 8.1 percent from a year ago.
"These results are very satisfying, especially when one considers that the comparable period in 1994 had benefited from more than $11 million in securities gains," said Frank P. Bramble Sr., president and chief executive.
Higher loans and better interest-rate margins led Columbia Bancorp to a 22.7 percent increase in first-quarter earnings. The parent of the Columbia Bank said profits rose to $633,312, or 44 cents a share.
Finally, Baltimore-based Carrollton Bancorp reported slightly higher income from lending activities. But net income dropped because of expenses related to the opening of two branches and an agreement to install 22 automated teller machines at retail stores.
Profits for the company, the parent of Carrollton Bank, fell 20.4 percent during the quarter, to $382,000, or 29 cents a share.
Still, Carrollton decided yesterday to declare a 5 percent increase in its cash dividend. The new dividend of 10.5 cents a share will be paid June 1 to shareholders of record on May 19.