Bremer Financial said its profit was off slightly during the first half of 2019.

Year-to-date net income was $71.5 million, down nearly 3 percent from the first half of 2018, as profitable loan growth of nearly 6 percent this year has been offset by accounting-valuation adjustments driven by a decline in long-term interest rates.

The St. Paul-based parent of Bremer Banks said it returned a strong 12.4 percent return on equity and a 1.15 percent return on assets during the period.

“Our strong performance is a reflection of our ongoing success to advance our market position as a specialized commercial and agricultural bank,” CEO Jeanne Crain said in a prepared statement. “We had fun creating excitement for our team and our customers when we revealed our fresh new look in May. Our updated brand reflects our ability to invest in our business for the long term and stay relevant in a fast-changing world. As always, our results are driven by our collaborative and curious team.”

Bremer, owned 92 percent by the Otto Bremer Trust and 8 percent by its employees, paid dividends of $59 million during the first half of this year. The company paid out a total of $76.4 million in dividends last year.

Bremer is a $13 billion, several-state financial services company.

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