Hampshire First earnings soar 115%

Hampshire First Bank posted strong earnings for the quarter ended March 31, with net income of $374,000, or 13 cents per share – 115 percent above income of $174,000, or 6 cents per share, reported in the first quarter last year, the Manchester bank announced.Net interest income for the first quarter of 2011 was more than $2.1 million, up 38 percent from $1.56 million in the same quarter a year ago.
Fee income inched up 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to $87,000.”The improvement in net interest income is primarily a result of the bank’s overall growth,” said James Dunphy, president and CEO of Hampshire First Bank. “Fee income increases came from gains on residential loan sales.”On the flip side of all the positive news, the bank said its operating expenses and provisions for bad debt also increased, but for very good reasons.
Total operating expenses were $1.4 million, an increase of 19 percent over the prior year quarter-end, while bad debt expenses increased from $150,000 at March 31, 2010, to $210,000 at March 31, 2011.Dunphy said that “the increased operating and provision expenses were necessary to shore-up staffing levels and support continuing loan growth.”The bank saw total assets climb to nearly $250 million, an increase of 6 percent for the quarter and 31 percent year over year. Growth was recognized primarily in loans and deposits.Net loans after the allowance for loan losses were $207 million while deposits totaled $201 million.”We are pleased with the Bank’s continued growth and positive market acceptance,” said Dunphy. “We are also proud to be recognized as one of the leaders in small business lending in southern New Hampshire.”Headquartered in Manchester, Hampshire First Bank has four additiona branches in Keene, Londonerry, Nashua and Portsmouth. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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