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Wintrust reports record first-quarter profit

The Wintrust Bank branch on Ridge Road in Lansing.

Rosemont-based Wintrust made a record $82 million in profit in the first quarter, or $1.40 per share.

That was up 19.1 percent from $68.8 million in earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017, and up a staggering 40 percent over the $58.4 million it made during the first quarter of last year.

"Wintrust reported record net income for the ninth consecutive quarter,” President and CEO Edward Wehmer said. “These results reflected the steady strength of our internal growth engine at Wintrust as we grew assets by $541 million. The first quarter of 2018 was also characterized by the increased net interest margin as we continued to benefit from rising interest rates, reduced operating costs, steady credit quality metrics and the completion of the acquisition of Veterans First."

Wintrust has banks in Dyer, Lansing and across the south suburbs. The sponsor of both the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs has a stated intention of becoming “Chicago’s bank,” and has openly expressed a desire to grow in Northwest Indiana, either organically or through acquisition.

"We grew our loan portfolio by $421 million during the first quarter of 2018, which was driven by strong growth in the commercial loan portfolio,” Wehmer said. “The improvement in net interest margin during the period was primarily attributable to rising interest rates in the market. We remain well positioned for expected rising rates in the future. The increased loan volume and continued improvement in net interest margin along with the continued momentum from loan growth at the very end of 2017 resulted in an increase in net interest income of $6.0 million in the first quarter of 2018, despite two less days in the quarter. Our loan pipelines remain consistently strong."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.