A significant increase in net earnings for the first quarter was reported by First California Financial Group, Inc.

For the most first quarter ended March 31, the holding company of First California Bank reported net earnings of $15.6 million or $0.54 per diluted share compared to net earnings of $117,000 or $0.02 per share for the same period last year.

In February, First California Bank assumed all the deposits and acquired substantially all of the assets of San Luis Trust Bank.

“We are very pleased with the San Luis Trust Bank acquisition as it enabled us to enter a complementary Central Coast market on financial terms that will provide attractive returns to our shareholders on a short and longer term basis,” said C. G. Kum, president and chief executive officer of First California Financial Group.