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First Financial Holdings, Inc. Pre-Announces Third Quarter Asset Quality And Operating Results Estimates

First Financial Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ GSM:FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston (“First Federal”), pre-announced today that it expects to record a provision for loan losses for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 of approximately $34 million to $38 million compared to $45.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. The anticipated provision for loan losses for the third quarter includes the impact of net charge-offs and the required reserve for a lending relationship of approximately $20 million which became impaired during the quarter.

As a result, the Company estimates that total non-performing loans as of June 30, 2010 will be approximately $130 million to $134 million compared to $135.6 million at March 31, 2010. Loan delinquencies, past due greater than 30 days and not otherwise on nonaccrual, at June 30, 2010 are expected to be between $24 million and $27 million, compared with $40.6 million at March 31, 2010. Net charge-offs for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 are expected to be approximately $31 million to $34 million compared to $36.7 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. Compared with the quarter ended March 31, 2010, the third fiscal quarter’s pre-tax, pre-provision income, excluding a $1.5 million pre-tax gain related to our Cape Fear Bank acquisition, net interest margin, fee revenue and expenses are expected to be relatively consistent.

Including the impact of the provision for loan losses, the Company expects to report a net loss for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 of between $11 million and $13 million compared to a net loss of $19.1 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. Additional information will be provided in the Company’s complete earnings release and conference call scheduled for July 26, 2010.

First Financial Holdings, Inc. will host a conference call for institutional investors and bank analysts on Monday, July 26, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time to discuss its financial results. The conference call will coincide with the news release announcing fiscal third quarter earnings which will be distributed prior to the market open on Monday, July 26, 2010. A live webcast of the presentation will be available at Additionally, the webcast will be recorded and available until October 31, 2010.

First Federal operates 65 offices located in the Charleston metropolitan area, Horry, Georgetown, Florence and Beaufort counties in South Carolina and Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties in coastal North Carolina offering banking, trust and pension administration services. The Company also provides insurance and brokerage services through First Southeast Insurance Services, The Kimbrell Insurance Group and First Southeast Investor Services. In addition, the Company provides retirement plan consulting and administrative services through First Southeast 401(k) Fiduciaries, Inc.

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