SUMMIT, N.J., Hilltop Community Bank (OTC Bulletin Board- HTCB.OB) reported a profit of $212,000 ($.14 per share, basic and $.13 per share, diluted) for the quarter ended December 31, 2003, compared to a profit of $94,000 ($.09 per share, basic and diluted) in the fourth quarter of 2002. For the full year, Hilltop earned $457,000 ($.34 per share, basic and diluted) versus a loss of $222,000 ($.22 per share, basic and diluted) in 2002. Per share amounts in 2002 have been adjusted to retroactively reflect the 5% stock dividend issued in 2003. The final quarter of 2003 was the fifth consecutive profitable reporting period for the Bank and was the best earnings quarter in Hilltop’s four year history.
Hilltop concluded the fourth quarter with total assets of $122.2 million, an increase of 3.9% over the September 30, 2003 asset figure, and an increase of 28.8% for the full year. Net loans were $50.9 million at year end, an increase of $13.4 million, or 35.4%, over the prior year end. There were no delinquent loans in Hilltop’s portfolio at December 31, 2003 and the loan loss reserve was 1.36%.
At December 31, 2003, Hilltop continued to report assets per employee in excess of $6 million. This figure exceeds our peer group by a considerable margin.
Chairman of the Board Richard D. Wellbrock commented “ We’re delighted that our best earnings quarter coincided with our first stock dividend, which was issued on December 22. Our loyal shareholders are being rewarded for their support of Hilltop”.
Mortimer J. O’Shea, President & CEO, stated “ The further consolidation of the larger banks will provide additional new business opportunities for Hilltop in 2004. Each day, our Bank opens new accounts for customers who are disaffected by the impersonal service provided by our competitors.”
Hilltop Community Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered commercial bank which commenced operations on February 7, 2000. The Bank operates as a locally headquartered, community oriented bank engaged in a general commercial banking business. The Bank has offices in Summit and Berkeley Heights and also serves surrounding communities in Union, Essex, Morris and Somerset Counties.
The foregoing contains forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not historical facts and include expressions about management’s confidence and strategies and management’s expectations about new and existing programs and products, relationships, opportunities, technology and market conditions. Such forward looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, the direction of movements in interest rates, the possibility of disruption in credit markets, successful implementation and integration of acquisitions, the effects of economic conditions and the impact of legal and regulatory barriers and structures. Actual results may differ from such forward looking statements. The bank assumes no obligation for updating any such forward looking statements at any time.