Huntington Bancshares said Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose 10 percent, helped by strong loan growth.

The bank reported profit of $358 million, or 32 cents per share, for the first three months of 2019, compared with $326 million, or 28 cents per share, for the same period of 2018.

The 32 cents per share profit matches analyst estimates.

Revenue rose 5 percent from a year ago to $1.15 billion.

The bank said loans grew by 6 percent from the same period in 2018, driven by gains in consumer and commercial lending.

“We had a solid start to the year and are encouraged by the strong balance sheet growth in the first quarter, reflecting the underlying growth of the economies in our footprint,” Steve Steinour, the bank’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Steinour said the economic outlook for the bank’s Midwest footprint continues to be favorable for consumers and businesses.

“We do not foresee a recession in the near term; however, our core earnings power, strong capital, aggregate moderate-to-low risk appetite, and long-term strategic alignment position us to withstand economic headwinds,” Steinour said.

Huntington acquired Akron-based FirstMerit in 2016. The bank confirmed earlier this year it is looking to sell its Huntington Tower in downtown Akron but plans to maintain regional operations in Akron.

 

Reach Mark Williams at mawilliams@dispatch.com or @BizMarkWilliams.