Community Bank earnings fall

Community Bank and Trust of Wolfeboro closed the first quarter ending March 31 with earnings lower than the same quarter the previous year.

Net income for the first quarter of 2006 was $1.706 million, or 48 cents per share, down 13 percent from $1.957 million or 57 cents per share in the first quarter of 2005.

The bank’s gross loan portfolio in the first quarter dropped slightly, from $413 million in the first quarter of 2005, down 4 percent to $398 million in the first quarter of 2006.

Deposits were also lower in the first three months of 2006, down 7 percent from $357 million in the first quarter of 2005 to $332 million.

Total assets also fell slightly, to $429 million in the first quarter of 2006, down 2 percent from $438 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Despite the decreased earnings, the bank said in a statement released Thursday that it “outperformed most of its peers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont during 2005 in terms of return on assets (1.83 percent) and return on equity (18.85 percent).” This resulted in a “build up” of capital.

Consequently, Community Bank’s board of directors approved a special dividend of 50 cents per share to shareholders of record as of June 9. The dividend will be payable on July 3.

The announcement follows a previously announced regular quarterly dividend of 35 cents per share, payable May 15 to shareholders of record on April 21. — CINDY KIBBE

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