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Evans Bank's first quarter profits rise 5 percent

Evans Bancorp's profits rose 5 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, to $3.3 million.

The Hamburg-based parent of Evans Bank recorded diluted earnings per share of 68 cents, up from 66 cents a year ago. Evans benefited from loan growth and a lower tax expense stemming from the federal tax overhaul.

"This has been a drumbeat of positive performance over a longer period, and that really has put us on an upswing and positioned us as a competitive force in the marketplace," said David J. Nasca, Evans' president and CEO.

Even so, the earnings fell short of the 79 cents per share that analysts expected Evans to earn during the quarter.

The bank's loan portfolio grew by $45 million during the quarter, the vast majority of which came from commercial loans. "We see a strong pipeline still in place," Nasca said.

Evans on Thursday will hold its annual shareholders meeting at its headquarters.

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