Bank of South Carolina (copy)

The Bank of South Carolina's second-quarter highlights included the groundbreaking of its fifth branch. The planned North Charleston office (above) is expected to open in 2019. File/Provided rendering

The Bank of South Carolina Corp. reported a nearly 25 percent jump in second-quarter profits from a year earlier on higher loan activity and expense controls.  

The Charleston-based lender said Thursday that it earned about $1.73 million for the April-June period, when it broke ground on its first new branch in about a decade.

For the first half of 2018, net income increased almost 28 percent to $3.34 million for the community bank.

"Improved loan demand, strong margins and continued emphasis on management of expenses have led to a strong second quarter and first half of the year, CEO Fleetwood Hassell said in a written statement. "We are pleased to be ahead of budget and last year's performance to date. We look forward to the rest of 2018."

One of the highlights for the last quarter was the start of a long-delayed expansion for the bank, which is expanding its brick-and-mortar network to a fast-growing area of North Charleston. Work started in late May on a branch that’s expected to open at U.S. Highway 78 and Ingleside Boulevard by mid-2019.

The bank will occupy the entire first floor of the two-story, 20,000-square-foot building. It also will relocate its mortgage operation to the North Charleston site from Morrison Drive on the peninsula. The Ingleside expansion plan was first announced in early 2014.

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The branch will be the fifth for the Bank of South Carolina, which opened its doors in 1987 in downtown Charleston and has since expanded to Mount Pleasant, Summerville and West Ashley.

It shares have climbed more than 21 percent since the start of the year. The stock was trading at nearly $21 late last week.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott