Increased lending to corporate customers pushed fourth-quarter profit higher at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.

The $366 billion-asset company's net income rose 1.7% to $973 million, or $1.97 per share. Total revenue rose 0.5% to $3.9 billion.

Net interest income rose 2% to $2.1 billion. The net interest margin narrowed 1 basis point to 2.69%.

Loans rose 2% to $211 billion, with PNC citing strength in lending to corporate customers for commercial real estate and in commercial-and-industrial segments including equipment finance. Total commercial lending rose 3% to $138 billion. That offset a 0.4% decline in consumer lending to $72.8 billion.

Noninterest income fell 1% to $1.7 billion. A rise in residential mortgage banking was offset by declines in asset management revenue, which includes results from PNC's investment in BlackRock.

Noninterest expense rose 2% to $2.4 billion on costs to upgrade business infrastructure and a $55 million donation to the PNC Foundation.