First Financial reverses year-end loss

By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published Jan. 28, 2013

First Financial Holdings Inc., the holding company for Charleston-based First Federal Bank, reversed its earnings loss of $30.6 million in 2011 with a net income of $24.9 million in 2012.

Last year’s income attributable to shareholders was $1.51 per share.

For the fourth quarter, the company posted net income of $6.8 million compared with $14.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The 2011 gain included a $12.7 million after-tax gain from a bulk loan sale of assets, the company said in a news release.

“The fourth quarter continued First Financial’s progress to produce solid operating trends in the core franchise and stable credit quality,” said R. Wayne Hall, president and CEO of First Financial. “We have made consistent progress over the year to grow fee income, leverage our mortgage banking team and expand our net interest margin.”

Hall attributed the bank holding company’s success to acquisitions and initiatives completed during the year. In April, the bank acquired First Savers Bank in Greenville and five branches of Liberty Savings Bank in Hilton Head.

“We are pleased with the earnings momentum we are building and the potential to improve performance and enhance shareholder value," Hall said.

Related coverage
First Federal gets Upstate footprint
First Federal acquires five Hilton Head bank branches
Treasury Department to sell stock in Charleston-based bank

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