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Community Bank System Reports Record Second Quarter Operating Results And Increases Dividend

Second quarter net interest income grew to $54.2 million, an increase of 17.9% above the second quarter of 2010, resulting from an increase in interest-earning assets and a higher net interest margin. The Company has productively reinvested most of its cash flow generation during the last year, while still retaining a significant net liquidity position, which grew slightly in the second quarter with the Wilber acquisition. Low market interest rates and continued disciplined deposit pricing resulted in a 25-basis point reduction in the total cost of funds, compared to the second quarter of 2010. This was offset by a 24-basis point decline in earning asset yields, including cash equivalents, reflective of lower yields on both investment securities and loans. On a linked quarter basis the Company’s net interest margin improved five basis points, including the positive impact of acquisition-related, fair value accounting accretion.

Second quarter non-interest income of $22.8 million was 1.7% higher than the second quarter of last year. The Company’s employee benefits administration and consulting businesses grew revenues by 8.2% over last year’s second quarter, and its wealth management group (including activities from the Wilber acquisition) generated a 4.3% revenue improvement. Mortgage banking revenues were up $0.4 million from last year’s second quarter, related entirely to the recovery of previously recognized impairments of mortgage servicing rights. These improvements in non-interest income were partially offset by a $0.8 million, or 7.5 % reduction in deposit service fees, principally related to lower customer utilization of certain fee-based deposit services, including overdraft protection programs.

Quarterly operating expenses of $47.5 million (excluding acquisition expenses and special charges) were $3.5 million, or 7.9% above the second quarter of 2010, reflective of additional operating costs associated with the Wilber acquisition completed in early April, offset slightly by a decline in FDIC insurance costs and lower amortization of intangible assets.

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