Los Angeles-based Pacific Commerce Bank today posted its financial results for the first quarter of 2010.

The bank reported net income for the quarter at $204,000 compared to $75,000 for the same quarter a year ago, an increase of $129,000. This bank attributes the increase primarily to decreases in interest expense and provision for loan losses of $335,000 and $53,000, respectively.

Total non-performing loans totaled $6,314,000 at March 31, 2010, up $4,772,000 from the first quarter of 2009, but a decrease of $2,686,000 from December 31, 2009. The bank said the decrease reflects a collection in full of a non-accrual mortgage loan for $690,000 and transfer of a non-accrual construction loan for $1,996,000 into OREO, which is pending sale.

As reported in the press release, ratio of non-performing loans to total loans was approximately 4.57 percent while net charge-offs for the quarter were approximately $252,000.

Brian H. Kelley, president and CEO, said the bank combated the obstacles of 2009 with reserves and strong operating margins.

“Obviously, 2009 was a challenging year. During the past year, we set aside $2.8 million in loan loss provisions in order to assure that we had sufficient reserves to protect the bank against a deteriorating credit market. On the brighter side, we enjoyed solid growth in our core operating margins throughout the past year, and were able to rely on those core earnings to cover the lion’s share of the reserve requirement,” Kelley stated in the press release.

“For the first quarter, we have seen a distinct improvement in both our level of delinquencies and non-performing assets. While it is too early to declare that the economy or the bank has turned the corner, we are certainly seeing improved margins and a decrease in credit issues. Despite setting aside another $227,000 in loan loss provisions, we still were able to report a first-quarter net profit of $204,000, a result we were very happy with,” he concluded.