Bank of Beirut reported an 8.54 percent year-on-year increase in net profits at the end of the first quarter of 2012. The bank’s unaudited financial statements showed that profits reached $21.89 million, up from $20.16 million during the same period last year. The bank’s net interest income was up by 29.47 percent to $35.09 million. Net commission income increased to $18.51 million and net operating income firmed at $62.67 million. On the balance sheet front, Bank of Beirut’s total assets expanded by 5.22 percent annually to around $9.56 billion, up from $9.09 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Customer deposits came in 9.85 percent higher at $7.42 billion, with net loans and advances surpassing the $3.30 billion mark.