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First Financial Northwest, Inc. Reports Net Income Of $1.6 Million Or $0.09 Per Share For The First Quarter Of 2013

RENTON, Wash., April 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Northwest, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:FFNW), the holding company for First Savings Bank Northwest (the "Bank"), today reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 of $1.6 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, compared to net income of $1.5 million, or $0.09 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 and net income of $622,000, or $0.04 per diluted share for the comparable quarter in 2012.

"The first quarter of 2013 proved to be a successful one for the Company," stated Joseph W. Kiley III, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. "During the quarter we were notified by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions that the Memorandum of Understanding was terminated for the Bank and the "troubled condition status" had been removed. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System also removed the "troubled condition status" along with lifting two conditions of the Company's Memorandum of Understanding. While a few restrictions remain we are still required to obtain the approval of the Federal Reserve prior to the repurchase of our common stock and for the payment of any cash dividends. We are working diligently to have the remaining restrictions removed as soon as possible.

During the quarter we continued to reposition our balance sheet to make it more responsive to the current economic environment. On the asset side, we continued to focus our efforts on loan originations, which were $28.6 million for the quarter, predominantly in the commercial and one-to-four family residential lending areas. Loan originations were approximately $2.6 million greater than the repayments received during the quarter. With the spring and summer seasons approaching we are optimistic that loan originations and our loan portfolio will increase. The quality of the loan portfolio continues to improve; delinquent and nonperforming loans decreased $4.2 million and $3.8 million, respectively, during the quarter from the fourth quarter of 2012.

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