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First Financial Northwest, Inc. Reports Net Income Of $16.4 Million Or $0.95 Per Share For The Second Quarter Of 2013, Including The Reversal Of $13.8 Million Of The Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance

RENTON, Wash., July 23, 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 June 30, 2013 of $16.4 million or $0.95 per diluted share, which includes a $13.8 million tax benefit related to the reversal of the valuation allowance on deferred tax assets ("DTA"), compared to net income of $1.6 million, or $0.09 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 and net income of $1.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share for the comparable quarter in 2012. For the six months ended June 30, 2013, net income was $17.9 million or $1.03 per diluted share, compared to $2.0 million or $0.11 per diluted share for the comparable period in 2012.

"Our second quarter results reflect our ongoing efforts to improve operating efficiencies and position the Company for the future. Our income from operations, before income taxes, for the quarter was $2.6 million, an increase of $939,000 from the first quarter of 2013, and $2.2 million from the comparable quarter one year ago. Steps we have taken during recent quarters to restructure our balance sheet have resulted in a 20 basis point increase in our net interest margin compared to the first quarter of 2013 and a 68 basis point increase from the same quarter of 2012. However, maintaining this improved margin into the future will be very challenging, if not impossible, in light of the current interest rate environment. Converting nonearning assets to earning assets continues to be our focus, including disposing of our other real estate owned ("OREO"), which has decreased 18% from December 31, 2012. This decrease has resulted in lower OREO expenses and dispositions of OREO have produced net gains during 2013 reflecting an improvement in our local real estate market.

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