Sun Bancorp’s third-quarter profit declined, as the Mount Laurel, N.J., company recorded almost $3 million of one-time gains a year ago. Sun's expenses, however, continued to improve.

The $2.2 billion-asset company's net income fell 48% from a year ago to $1.6 million. Earnings per share fell 47% to 9 cents.

Net interest income fell 3% to $14.7 million on reduced interest income from investments and higher expenses from interest-bearing liabilities. Total loans rose 2.5% to $1.6 billion as higher commercial-and-industrial and commercial real estate loans offset declines in residential mortgages.

Noninterest income declined 52% to $3.1 million. A year ago, Sun Bancorp recorded $2.8 million of gains on the sale of bank branches and investment securities.

Noninterest expense fell 20% to $16 million on lower costs tied to insurance, salaries and employee benefits, occupancy and equipment.

Sun Bancorp announced Friday that Sidney Brown, chairman of the company and Sun National Bank since 2013, will step down from those positions Dec. 31. Brown plans to remain a director and Sun expects to select his successor from among the board’s independent members.

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