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Heritage Financial Group, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Net Income Of $1.4 Million Or $0.17 Per Diluted Share

In closing, Dorminey added, "Over the past few years, our company has experienced significant growth and has invested heavily in our infrastructure to support expansion and capitalize on emerging opportunities across our market footprint. At this point, with a strong leadership team in place to pursue these dual objectives, we continue to increase our focus on creating efficiencies in our operations and managing our expenses in light of our customers' needs and prevailing business conditions. Accordingly, we are pleased to see that noninterest expense has stabilized, and we remain committed in our efforts to further reduce these expenses across the Company in coming quarters to enhance the Company's performance and build stockholder value, without compromising our commitment to maintaining what we believe is the best customer service in our markets."

Expense Management Initiatives

In the second half of 2012, the Company will pursue several expense management initiatives. Among these, the Company has offered an early retirement program to certain employees. It is expected that the one-time pre-tax cost of this early retirement program will be between $500,000 and $800,000 in the third quarter; however, the Company expects to realize annual savings of approximately $500,000 to $800,000 per year as a result. The Company also is terminating its Director’s and Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans. Under these plans, the current participants are fully vested in their benefits.

Additionally, the Company plans to close two branches that it acquired in FDIC-assisted acquisitions. The Company intends to close its branch in Collins, Georgia, which was acquired as part of the acquisition of The Tattnall Bank in 2009, and its branch in Guyton, Georgia, which was acquired as part of the acquisition of the Citizens Bank of Effingham in 2011. Combined, these branches have loans of approximately $5 million and deposits of $13 million. The Company expects that it will not experience a material reduction in customer relationships in these areas and will seek to service these customers from nearby branches. The Company expects these branches to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to customary regulatory conditions, and anticipates expense savings of approximately $500,000 per year related to these closures.

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