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Wilmington Trust Profits Up 11% on Banking Efforts

Wilmington Trust Corp. posted higher second-quarter profits late last month on the strength of its regional banking and wealth advisory businesses, along with slower growth of business expenses.

The Wilmington, Del.-based financial services firm said it earned $40.4 million in the most recent quarter, which represents an 11% jump from the year-ago quarter and slightly higher than the first quarter of 2005.

Wilimington's earnings per share for the second quarter, on a diluted basis, were 59 cents, 9% higher than its second-quarter results in 2004.

"We had a strong second quarter, primarily from an improvement in our net interest margin and slower growth of expenses," said Ted T. Cecala, Wilmington Trust chairman and CEO.

"Continued growth in loan balances, combined with strong credit quality to produce excellent results in our Regional Bank [division]. We recorded double-digit revenue growth in Wealth Advisory Services, Corporate Client Services revenue improved slightly, and our value-style affiliate money manager had another impressive quarter."

Return on expenditures declined year-over-year because growth in stockholders' equity exceeded growth in net income, due largely to expenditures the company made during the second half of 2004 to expand and acquire a minority interest in Balentine & Co.

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