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Trustmark Corp. sees gain in quarterly profit

JACKSON — Regional bank Trustmark Corp. says profit in 2013’s fourth quarter rose 1 percent from the same three months of 2012, as the company worked to increase efficiency after its takeover of the former BancTrust Financial Group.

Trustmark posted quarterly profit yesterday of $28 million, or 42 cents per share. That compares to $27.7 million, or 43 cents per share, in 2012’s fourth quarter.

Trustmark said a one-time merger and lawsuit expense cut profit by $8.3 million for the quarter

For all of 2013, Trustmark recorded profit of $117.1 million or $1.75 per share. In 2012, the bank posted profit of $117.3 million, or $1.81 per share.

Trustmark says loans increased by about $100 million over the last three months. Alabama and Mississippi offices saw the most loan growth, while loans in Florida fell.

The bank set aside $2.2 million for future loan losses, mostly related to loans it has acquired. That’s more than in the third quarter, when the company actually added about $300,000 to profits from decreased loan set-asides. Trustmark put aside about $1.4 million in the last three months of 2012.

The bank said it continued to cut branches overall. Trustmark merged with BancTrust, of Mobile, Ala., on Feb. 15, and also bought two branches in Oxford in 2013.

Return on average assets, a key measure of bank profitability, was 0.95 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s close to the national average of 0.99 percent that all banks nationwide achieved in the three months ended Sept. 30, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. statistics, but below the 1.11 percent Trustmark recorded in the third quarter and below the 1.12 percent it recorded in 2012’s final three months.

The amount that the company collected in interest from borrowers, net of what it paid out to savers, rose to $105.6 million. The net interest margin, a measure of that spread divided by all loans, rose to 4.10 percent in 2013’s fourth quarter, up from 3.94 percent in 2013’s third quarter and 2012’s fourth quarter. That spread is traditionally a basic ingredient of bank profits.

Jackson-based Trustmark has $11.8 billion in assets with offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.

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