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First Financial Holdings, Inc. Announces Third Quarter Fiscal 2010 Results And Quarterly Dividend Payment

Insurance revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 were $6.3 million compared to $6.5 million for the comparable quarter one year ago. Insurance revenues have been under stress as a result of current market conditions. However, this segment continues to be a strong contributor to our total non-interest income.  

Total other expense increased by $735 thousand, or 2.4%, to $31.6 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 compared to $30.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.  Decreases in salaries and benefits, occupancy and marketing were offset by increases attributable to higher legal and professional fees during the quarter as compared to the prior quarter, and premium deficiency reserve increases for our reinsurance subsidiary.

The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share. The dividend is payable August 27, 2010 to stockholders of record as of August 13, 2010. 

"As we finish fiscal 2010 and move into fiscal 2011, our priorities will continue to be the resolution of our problem assets and a return to profitability. We are also focused on the roll-out of our Business Banking model in fiscal 2011 and enhancing overall efficiencies throughout the organization." Hall stated.

Hall concluded, "During the coming weeks, we will be evaluating the impact of The Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act on our operations. Our board of directors, officers and staff remain focused on executing our strategies and delivering long-term value to our clients and stakeholders."

As of June 30, 2010, First Financial's total assets were $3.3 billion, net loans receivable totaled $2.5 billion and deposits were $2.4 billion. Stockholders' equity was $323.8 million and book value per common share totaled $15.66 at June 30, 2010. Our consolidated equity-to-assets ratio was 9.7% at June 30, 2010, compared to 9.9% and 8.1% at March 31, 2010 and June 30, 2009, respectively. On May 21, 2010 First Financial contributed $30 million of holding company funds to First Federal as regulatory capital. As of June 30, 2010, First Federal remained categorized as "well capitalized" under regulatory standards. First Federal's total risk based capital ratio was 12.46% at June 30, 2010, compared to 11.10% and 10.80% at March 31, 2010 and June 30, 2009, respectively.    

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