First Hawaiian Bank said its net income rose 2.6 percent in the first quarter amid signs that the Hawaii economy is turning around.
The state’s largest bank in terms of assets posted earnings of $52.7 million compared with $51.3 million in the year-earlier period, according to financial results due out today.
Chairman and CEO Don Horner called the quarter "respectable" and said the bank’s overall fundamentals remain solid.
"We see continued progress in our state’s economy and are hopeful the impact of the March 11 tragedy in Japan will not be as severe as first predicted," Horner said. "A strong tourism sector is an important contributor to lead our economic recovery."
Earlier this month, First Hawaiian released a first-quarter business activity report that showed retail spending by consumers increased 10.2 percent over the same period a year ago at businesses open at least a year. The bank is the state’s largest provider of merchant card terminals and debit and credit card processing with more than 7,500 merchant locations in Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
First Hawaiian’s assets last quarter increased 6.3 percent to $15.2 billion from $14.3 billion.
Deposits were up 5.8 percent to $10.8 billion from $10.2 billion, and loans and leases edged up 2.8 percent to $8.2 billion from $8 billion.
The percentage of nonperforming assets to total assets remained low at 0.2.5 percent compared with 0.23 percent a year ago.
The bank’s capital, or net worth, at the end of thequarter was in excess of $2.6 billion and remained in the top quartile nationally as a percentage of total assets.
First Hawaiian, a wholly owned subsidiary of French banking giant BNP Paribas, is not required to separately report its earnings, but does so voluntarily each quarter.
The Honolulu-based bank, founded in 1858, has 58 branches in Hawaii, three on Guam and two on Saipan.