Aquesta Bank announced today positive operating earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009. For the fourth quarter of 2009, Aquesta Bank achieved unaudited net operating income of $342,000 compared to net income of $194,000 for the fourth quarter of 2008. During the fourth quarter of 2009, Aquesta Bank also incurred a non-operating charge of $60,000 (net of tax benefit) for acquisition costs relating to its previously announced acquisition of OTC of North Carolina (now known as Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc.). Including this non-operating cost, Aquesta Bank had net income for the quarter of $282,000. Net income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009 (including the aforementioned acquisition costs) was $718,000 compared to a net loss of $839,000 for the 2008 operating period.
Total assets increased to $188.7 million at December 31, 2009 compared to $176.9 million at December 31, 2008 or a growth rate of 6.7 percent. Total loans increased to $135.0 million from $129.0 million at December of 2008 or 4.6 percent growth. Lastly, total deposits were $153.7 million at December 31, 2009 from $143.9 million at December 2008 or growth of 6.8 percent.
Net interest income for 2009 was $5.7 million compared to $4.5 million for 2008, an increase of $1.2 million. This is an increase in 26.4 percent despite an increase of only 6.7 percent in total assets.
Jim Engel, CEO and President of Aquesta Bank, commented that “Aquesta Bank has done relatively well in a very difficult economic environment. We did not apply for or accept TARP funds so we are unencumbered from the obligation to repay such funds and the related stringent and restrictive regulations. Also, we were required to pay a large, one-time FDIC special industry wide insurance premium of $82,000 during the year and still had significant net operating profit growth. Consequently, we enter 2010 with a sense of cautious optimism. Our acquisition of Aquesta Insurance Services has already begun to add franchise value to the organization. Aquesta Bank and Subsidiaries customer base has increased from 3,500 customers at December 31, 2008 to over 11,500 customers doing business with Aquesta Bank and subsidiaries at December 31, 2009. This increased customer base level will be the stimulus for growth and profitability in 2010. We are hopeful that our small business customers can regain their footing and help propel our local markets forward.”
Aquesta Bank and its subsidiaries, Board of Directors and employees, would like to thank all of our deposit customers and loan customers that continue to do business with the organization during these difficult economic times. Your support has been a major factor in Aquesta’s profitability and growth during 2009. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.
Aquesta Bank is a commercial bank which serves the Lake Norman market with a focus on small to medium sized businesses and professionals. The Bank operates branches in Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville. Aquesta also has a wholly owned independent insurance agency (Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc.) with offices in Cornelius, Denver, Concord, Mooresville and Wilmington.
For additional information, please contact Kristin Parsons (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer) or Jim Engel (Chief Executive Officer and President) at 704-439-4343 or visit us online at www.aquesta.com.
Information in this press release may contain forward looking statements that might involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include without limitation, the effects of future economic conditions, governmental fiscal and monetary policies, legislative and regulatory changes, and changes in interest rates