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Sandy Spring Bancorp’s 2nd quarter profit up

The parent company of Sandy Spring Bank said Thursday it had a profit of $8.3 million, or 34 cents per share, in the second quarter, up from $6.3 million in the corresponding period last year as the company decreased the amount of money set aside for bad loans.

Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc., headquartered in Olney, is the largest Maryland-based bank. For the quarter ending June 30, Sandy Spring set aside $1.2 million for loan and lease losses compared to $6.1 million in the second quarter of 2010 and $1.5 million for the first quarter of 2011.

For the first six months of the year, Sandy Spring reported a profit of $15.6 million, or 65 cents per share, compared to $6.8 million, or 33 cents per share for the first half of 2010.

“While most indicators continue to point to a very extended and uneven economic recovery, and as quality loan demand continues to be inconsistent at best, we originated $115 million in commercial loans to new and existing clients during the first half of 2011,” Sandy Spring CEO Daniel J. Schrider said in a statement. “We believe our improving credit metrics, strong capital and liquidity levels and our community bank presence position us extremely well for the growth opportunities that should occur, as this challenging economic environment improves over time.”

Shares of Sandy Spring, which trade on Nasdaq, gained 45 cents, or 2.4 percent, Thursday to close at $18.95.