First Business Financial profit rises in Q1

Loans and fee income drive revenue higher

Madison-based First Business Financial Services Inc. reported first quarter net income of $3.6 million, of 42 cents per diluted share, up from $3.4 million, or 39 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2017.

First Business Financial operates 13 First Business Bank locations, including offices in Brookfield and Kenosha.

Revenue totaled $20.9 million, up 10.1 percent from $19 million in the first quarter of 2017. Net interest income was $16.2 million, up from $14.9 million in the first quarter of 2017. Non-interest income was $4.7 million, up from $4.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

First Business increased its provision for loan and lease losses to $2.5 million, up from $572,000 in the first quarter of 2017, which the company attributed to $2.7 million of charge-offs for three legacy SBA loans it previously listed as impaired.

But that was offset by a 16.5 percent increase in trust and investment services fee income, to $1.9 million. And gross loans and leases receivable at the end of the first quarter were $1.6 billion, up 5.6 percent year-over-year.

“We achieved record first quarter loan growth, demonstrating the abilities of new and longstanding members of our business development team and the execution of our strategy,” said Corey Chambas, president and chief executive officer. “Combined with our high-performing wealth management business, which again delivered record levels of fee income and assets under management, we believe our early 2018 performance exhibits the strength of our differentiated approach to business banking. This strong loan and fee income activity drove double-digit top line revenue growth, allowing us to absorb charge-offs and significantly reduce our level of non-performing loans again this quarter.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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