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Sussex Bancorp Reports Improvement In Asset Quality For 2012

FRANKLIN, N.J., Jan. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sussex Bancorp (the "Company") (Nasdaq:SBBX), the holding company for Sussex Bank (the "Bank") today announced an improvement of 30.1% in non-performing assets ("NPAs") for 2012. In addition, overall problem assets are down 44.4% from their historical high at March 31, 2010 and the ratio of NPAs to total assets improved to 4.6% at December 31, 2012 from 6.7% at December 31, 2011. The Company also reported full year results for net income of $735 thousand, or $0.23 per basic share and $0.22 per diluted share, for fiscal year 2012 as compared to $2.5 million, or $0.76 per basic share and $0.74 per diluted share, for the same period last year. 

"We have made significant progress towards reducing our legacy problem assets, which was one of our primary goals for 2012. This quarter, we have reduced our non-performing assets by 30.1% and our total problem assets by 29.5% as compared to the same period last year. With the prospective sales of several foreclosed real estate properties we are hopeful that this momentum will continue into 2013," said Anthony Labozzetta, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sussex Bank. "Our operating results have been negatively affected by high levels of credit quality costs related to legacy problem assets. As we continue to reduce our problem assets, we will further improve our financial performance," added Mr. Labozzetta.

Operating Performance

For the quarter ended December 31, 2012, the Company reported a net loss of $97 thousand, or $(0.03) per basic and diluted share, as compared to $515 thousand, or $0.16 per basic share and $0.15 per diluted share, for the same period last year. The decrease for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 in net income was largely due to higher expenses and write-downs related to foreclosed real estate of $988 thousand and to higher provision for loan losses of $790 thousand as compared to the same period last year. The aforementioned increases in expenses were partly offset by a $659 thousand increase in gain on the sale of securities.

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