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Carolina Trust Bank Reports Second Quarter 2013 Earnings

One-time charge results in 2Q loss, but sets stage for future improvement; Bank management optimistic about final six months of 2013

Loan production, net interest margin improve; asset quality best in 3 years

LINCOLNTON, N.C., July 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carolina Trust Bank (Nasdaq:CART) today reported a net loss of $1.49 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, or $0.32 per diluted common share attributable to common shareholders. Second quarter results were influenced by a one-time charge to non-interest expense that was tied to the unexpected closing of a commercial customer in late December 2012.

Excluding payment of dividends on preferred shares, the bank realized a net loss of $1.44 million for the second quarter of 2013. Results compared to net income of $301,000 for the same period in 2012, or $0.07 per diluted common share available to common shareholders. On a link-quarter basis, second quarter results compared to a profit of $32,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, or $0.01 per diluted common share available to common shareholders.

"While we are disappointed with the quarterly loss, we are encouraged by the fundamentals of our business," said Mike Cline, president and CEO. "We continue to see solid progress in loan growth, improvement in asset quality, and ongoing strength in core earnings. We're optimistic about the remaining six months of 2013."

In the second quarter of 2013, Carolina Trust booked $16.14 million in new loans, including $9.10 million in the month of May, its second largest monthly production total in 24 months. Total nonperforming assets at June 30, 2013, were their lowest in more than three years and non-accrual loans fell dramatically in the second quarter of 2013. Core earnings and total revenues remained healthy as net interest income and net interest margin improved year-over-year and on a link-quarter basis.

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