Originally created 01/26/99

People's Community Capital shows profit



People's Community Capital Corp. reported its first profitable quarter Monday. Fourth-quarter results show the holding company for People's Community Bank fared as well, if not better, than what was expected.

"It's in line with our original projections," bank President Alan J. George said. "We were not looking for a profit until our 15th month of operation."

The bank showed a profit in the 11th month, Mr. George said.

Net income for the quarter was $43,000, or 5 cents per share, compared to a loss of $141,000, or 14 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 1997. The company reported a loss of $112,000, or 11 cents a share, for the year. Losses in 1997 were $289,000.

Part of what may be driving the success of community banks is customers' dissatisfaction with big banks, Mr. George said. Customers in the Southeast seem to be switching to the smaller banks.

Total assets for the company were $36.5 million as of Dec. 31, increasing 11 percent since the third quarter of 1998 and 72 percent since Dec. 31, 1997. Net loans grew in the fourth quarter to $20.7 million, a 29 percent increase. Deposits grew in the fourth quarter to $26.7 million, a 15 percent increase.

The company's allowance for credit losses increased $60,000 in the fourth quarter, bringing the total reserve to $285,000, or 1.36 percent of loans. The company has had no credit losses since it began, and there were no nonperforming loans.

The bank, which began operations in September 1997, is headquartered in Aiken, with three branches -- at 1715 Whiskey Road and 106A Park Ave. in Aiken, and 518 Georgia Ave. in North Augusta.

Frank Witsil can be reached at (706) 823-3352.