Augusta banking company reports third quarter profit

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The Augusta-based parent company to two local banks reported this morning that it turned a profit in the third quarter.

Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., the holding company for Georgia Bank & Trust of Augusta and Southern Bank & Trust of Aiken, reported net income of $1.9 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, for July, August and September. The earnings were not as high as the third quarter of 2007, when the banking company had net income of $3.4 million, or 56 cents per diluted share.

"We continued to generate profits and grow our assets in the third quarter, despite the historic financial turmoil in the banking markets and overall economy," said R. Daniel Blanton, president and chief executive officer.

Total assets were $1.4 billion, an increase of $164.3 million since the beginning of the year.

Expenses were 12.7 percent higher than a year ago due to costs associated with operating two additional Southern Bank & Trust branches, one additional Georgia Bank & Trust branch and the company's new Columbia County operations center.

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