Columbia Banking System Inc. reported net income of $8.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, an increase of 54 percent compared to net income of $5.8 million for the same quarter of 2011.  Earnings per diluted common share rose 47 percent to 22 cents for the first quarter, compared with earnings of 15 cents per diluted common share a year earlier.

Loans not covered under the FDIC loss-sharing agreements ('noncovered loans”) increased about $23 million during the quarter to $2.37 billion. Total deposits increased $49.9 million to $3.87 billion. Deposits increased in every category except certificates of deposit.

Columbia also announced that a quarterly cash dividend of 8 cents per common share will be paid on May 23 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 9.
In addition, its board of directors declared a special cash dividend of 14 cents per common share, which will also be paid on May 23 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 9.  

Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System is the holding company of Columbia State Bank.