The Delaware company remained positive about its wealth management and corporate client services businesses.

Hampered by loan losses, Wilmington Trust Corp. reported a loss in the first quarter, but the company remained positive about its wealth management and corporate client services businesses.

The Delaware company reported Friday a loss of $29.2 million, or 44 cents a share. A year earlier, it reported a gain of $21.8 million or 25 cents a share. It said revenue declined 15% to $164.2 million. The results were worse than expected. Analysts had expected a loss of 4 cents on a revenue gain of $187 million.

Ted T. Cecala, Wilmington Trust’s [WL] chairman and chief executive officer, said that its wealth advisory services and corporate client services performed well, but "these positives were muted by the reserve and provision for loan losses, which we increased because Delaware's economy is lagging the improvements seen elsewhere in the United States."

The company's loan-loss provisions more than doubled to $77.4 million from a year ealier.

The company is continuing to look for ways to expand its wealth management operations. It has added 18 wealth managers in the Southeast in the past six months and in February an executive said that it plans to continue to expand in the region as it looks to cross-sell more products and services to its existing customers.

The Delaware company’s wealth arm has added all of the wealth managers to its two offices in Atlanta, which caters to high-net-worth individuals in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. It started to expand in the region in 2002 when it bought Balentine & Co., an Atlanta investment counseling firm.

In the first quarter, Wilmington Trust’s wealth advisory services business saw a 11% decline in revenue from a year earlier to $44.1 million. The company attributed the loss to the fact that it began waiving fees on money market mutual funds in the second quarter of last year “as low market interest rates caused yields to decline. These waivers reduced WAS mutual fund revenue by approximately $4.4 million for the 2010 first quarter.”

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