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First Financial Holdings, Inc. Announces Second Quarter Earnings

CHARLESTON, S.C., July 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Holdings, Inc. ("First Financial") (Nasdaq:FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Bank ("First Federal"), announced today net income available to common shareholders of $6.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2013, compared with $4.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and $11.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2012. Diluted net income per common share was $0.42 for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared with $0.26 for the prior quarter and $0.70 for the same quarter last year. The quarter ended June 30, 2012 included a $9.0 million after-tax gain on the acquisition of Plantation Federal Bank ("Plantation") and a $3.1 million after-tax net charge related to repositioning the balance sheet.

For the six months ended June 30, 2013, net income available to common shareholders was $11.2 million, compared with $12.4 million for the same period of 2012. Diluted net income per common share was $0.68, compared with $0.75 for the first six months of 2012.

Quarterly Results of Operations

First Financial reported net income of $7.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2013, compared with $5.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and $12.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2012.

Net interest income

Net interest margin, on a fully tax-equivalent basis, was 4.37% for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, compared with 4.51% for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 and 4.08% for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. The decrease in net interest margin was a result of a shift in the mix of earning assets from loans to lower yielding investment securities and overnight funds. The increase over the same quarter last year was principally caused by the improved performance on a Cape Fear loan pool as well as a lower cost of funds due to maturing time deposits being replaced with core deposits and the continued funding mix shift from borrowings.

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