The parent company of Heritage Bank continues to benefit from a strong Northwest economy, as it reported a nearly $10 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2015.
For the quarter, Heritage Financial Corp. earned net income of $9.5 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with net income of $7.3 million, or 24 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
The company also announced Thursday that it will pay shareholders a cash dividend of 11 cents next month.
Heritage has devoted a lot of resources to the Seattle area, including hiring more lenders, and that strategy has paid off in terms of generating loans and deposits, said Don Hinson, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
For the quarter, Heritage added $54 million in deposits, while its full year profit was $37.5 million, up from $21 million in 2014.
Heritage’s recent merger with Washington Banking Co. also continues to be felt through improved operating efficiencies, which lowers costs, he said.
“We expect improved expense ratios going into this year,” Hinson said.