Brown Deer-based Bank Mutual Corp. reported fourth quarter net income of $2.7 million, or 6 cents per share, up 16.9 percent from $2.3 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
The improvement was due primarily to higher net interest income, lower net losses and expenses on foreclosed real estate, and lower provision for loan losses. The profits were partially offset by a decline in gains on sales of loans.
On a full-year basis, Bank Mutual reported net income of $10.8 million, or 23 cents per share, up from $6.8 million, or 15 cents per share, in the prior year.
David Baumgarten, president and chief executive officer, said, “Our loan portfolio increased by nearly 5 percent in the fourth quarter on increased construction loan disbursements and improved commercial loan demand. As a result, our earning asset mix continued to improve, which helped push our net interest margin to 3.24 percent during the quarter. This improvement represented the sixth straight quarterly increase in our net interest margin. We believe we can continue this trend in 2014, but increases in the margin are likely to be more modest than they have been the past six quarters.”