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Community Bank profits rise 5 percent

Community Bank System, a Syracuse-area banking company that operates in rural markets throughout upstate New York, said second-quarter profits rose 5 percent, as banking and financial services fees soared and loans grew after an acquisition.

The Dewitt-based firm reported earnings of $10.4 million, or 34 cents per share, up from $9.9 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. Revenues rose 5.2 percent to $48.4 million, driven by a 22 percent gain in fees.

The bank has 135 branches in upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania, including 34 in Western New York and two in Erie County.

Net interest income from taking deposits and making loans fell by 1 percent to $33.3 million, as the profit margin fell.

Loans grew 3 percent from the end of the first quarter, and 13 percent from a year ago, to $2.77 billion, while deposits grew 3 percent during the quarter to $3.36 billion. The company set aside $400,000 for losses, down sharply from $1.7 million a year ago.

During the three months, mortgages grew 4 percent and business loans rose 3 percent. One-third of the gain was internal, while the rest stemmed from the June purchase of Tupper Lake National Bank.

Expenses rose 9 percent to $34 million, led by higher staff and other costs related to four acquisitions completed in the last 11 months. The bank opened a new branch in Springville to expand in Erie County.


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