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S&L INDUSTRY WEATHERS RATE HIKES AS PROFITS INCREASE TO $1.3 BILLION

Profits at savings and loans rose to $1.3 billion in the April-June quarter, a sign the industry is weathering the increase in interest rates this year, the government reports.

Earnings were up from $750 million in the first quarter, said the Office of Thrift Supervision, even though the rise in short-term interest rates increased the cost of S&Ls' deposits.At the same time, the total of loans and other assets held by thrifts increased for the first time in six years. They rose $4 billion to $773 billion.

Also, the decline in the number of S&Ls slowed. At midyear, the thrift office regulated 1,612 S&Ls, down 19 from three months earlier. Only one was due to a failure. Most of the rest were either bought out or converted to banks.