Bankwell Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWFG) reported GAAP net income of $4.6 million or $0.59 per share for the first quarter of 2018, versus $3.7 million or $0.48 per share for the same period in 2017.

The New Canaan-based company's board of directors declared a $0.12 per share cash dividend, payable May 25, to shareholders of record on May 15, 2018.

“We are happy to announce year-over-year earnings growth of 24% for the first quarter of 2018. Acknowledging that the lower corporate tax rate played a significant role, Bankwell nevertheless achieved solid organic growth in the face of a more competitive lending environment and several non-recurring charges,” Bankwell Financial Group president and CEO, Christopher R. Gruseke said in a statement.

The first quarter also saw an addition of approximately $14 million in non-performing loans due to two recently impaired commercial loans with balances of approximately $10 million and $4 million, respectively, he said. “We are in the process of evaluating the various pathways to repayment on these credits and will provide an update in our next quarterly release,” he said.

The next quarter will see three new Bankwell branches open within  Fairfield County, he said. Bankwell maintains a branch in Wilton.