MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- South Atlantic Bancshares, Inc., parent of South Atlantic Bank, today announced net income of $1,155,407 or $0.42 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2011, marking the bank's first profitable year since its founding in 2007 and a 222% improvement over the $944,856 loss reported for the same period a year ago.
Net income for the three months ended December 31, 2011 was $358,366 or $0.13 per diluted share, representing the bank's fourth consecutive quarterly profit.
"Several factors contributed to the bank's improved financial performance in 2011," said chairman of the board and chief executive officer K. Wayne Wicker. "The bank is in its fifth year of operation and is now a well-established presence in Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, with significant gains in market share posted each year. This overall growth, when met with the success of strategies implemented to improve the net interest margin, control expenses, and maintain credit quality, yielded strong results."
The bank's net interest margin improved to 3.40% for the year ended December 31, 2011, up from the 2.97% reported for the same period a year ago. The improvement in the margin is due to an increase in the yields on interest earning assets and a decrease in interest costs for deposits, based on market conditions and the current low interest rate environment.
Moderate gains were reported in the balance sheet. Continued weak demand throughout the Grand Strand held loan growth to just 4.14% in 2011, with total loans of $162.9 million at December 31, 2010 compared to $169.6 million at December 31, 2011. Total deposits grew 10.74%, from $178.9 million at December 31, 2010 to $198.1 million at December 31, 2011. The bank's deposit base continues to favor a strong mix of core accounts.
South Atlantic Bank's credit quality remains strong with net charge-offs to total loans of 0.55% for the year ended December 31, 2011. While this percentage represents an increase over the same period a year ago, it primarily includes write downs made in the fourth quarter 2011 to reflect the current market value of collateral. As a vigilant guardian of its credit quality, the bank took this conservative action due to the continued decline in real estate values along the Grand Strand.
The bank's capital ratios continue to exceed regulatory requirements. Total assets grew 12.11%, from $204.9 million at December 31, 2010, to $229.7 million at December 31, 2011.
About South Atlantic Bank
South Atlantic Bank is a $231.5 million financial institution that is locally owned, controlled, and operated. The bank is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has a second location in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. South Atlantic Bank recently earned its second consecutive 5-Star rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., a leading independent rating firm. South Atlantic Bank offers a wide variety of services for businesses and consumers, including internet banking, no-fee ATM access, checking, CD, and money market accounts, merchant services, remote deposit capture, and more. Its experienced team of bankers knows the Grand Strand market and is skilled in meeting the special needs of this coastal community. For more information, visit SouthAtlanticBank.com.
South Atlantic Bank
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Barbara W. Marshall, Vice President and Director of Marketing
SOURCE South Atlantic Bancshares, Inc.