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Southeastern Bank Financial Corp. reports first quarter earnings

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Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., the holding company of Augusta’s Georgia Bank & Trust, reported Friday a net income increase of more than 14 percent from last year’s first quarter.

For the first quarter in 2013, the company earned $3.8 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $3.3 million, or 49 cents per share, during that same quarter in 2012.

“This growth was driven by increases in net interest income and core deposits, a decrease in non-interest expense and a lower loan loss provision, resulting from continued improvement in our loan quality,” President and CEO R. Daniel Blanton said. “We also expanded our margins and saw modest, though, continued growth in loans.”

Total assets rose to $1.7 billion March 31, representing an increase of $55.6 million from Dec. 31.

Loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter were $905.4 million, an increase of $3.9 million from Dec. 31 and an increase of $27.5 million from March 31, 2012.

Total deposits were $1.5 billion on March 31, an increase of $45.9 million from Dec. 31 and an increase of $33.7 million from March 31, 2012.

“The growth in our business has been steady and consistent as has the improvement in our asset quality,” Blanton said. “This has enabled us to maintain a strong balance sheet and remain conservatively positioned. Given the lackluster loan demand in our local markets, we will continue to follow this approach in 2013.”

Georgia Bank & Trust, the largest locally owned bank in the Augusta metro area, has 12 full-service offices.

The company has mortgage operations in Augusta and Savannah.


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