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Carolina Trust Bank Reports Full Year 2012 Net Loss To Common Shareholders Of $60,000, A $2,240,000 Net Improvement From The Loss In 2011

Bank Reports Loss in 4Q of 2012 as Provision for Losses Increase; E xits Federal TARP Program, Repurchases 35% of Preferred Shares

Core Operations Remain Solid as Net Interest Margin, Net Interest Income and Non-Interest Income All Improve During 2012

Total Revenues - Less Interest Expense - Increase by $1.69 Million in 2012 From 2011

LINCOLNTON, N.C., Feb. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carolina Trust Bank (Nasdaq:CART) today reported full year 2012 net loss of $60,000, or $0.01 per diluted common share attributable to common shareholders, compared to a 2011 net loss of $2.30 million, or $0.50 per diluted share attributable to common shareholders. Excluding payment of dividends on preferred shares, the bank realized net income of $217,000 for the full year 2012.

The company also announced that it has exited the U.S. Treasury's Capital Purchase Program (CPP). This was accomplished through the Treasury's public auction process. The $4.0 million in preferred stock was purchased by private investors and the Bank subsequently repurchased 35% of the total from one of the investors.

Core operating income for the year 2012 remained strong, despite a 2012 fourth quarter that resulted in a net loss of $778,000 attributable to common shareholders, or $0.17 per diluted common share. Excluding payment of dividends for preferred shares, Carolina Trust's net loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $669,000. Earnings were reduced by a provision for loan loss of $1.10 million to offset increases in non-accrual loans. A significant portion of the increases in non-accrual loans and the provision for loan losses were related to one borrower. The borrower's ability to repay the loan as agreed became doubtful at the end of December and the Bank increased reserves as a response to that information. Fourth-quarter results compared to a net loss of $1.40 million attributable to common shareholders, or $0.30 per diluted common share, for the same period of 2011.

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