NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Unity Bancorp President & CEO James A. Hughes rang The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell in Times Square on Thursday, August 22, marking 15 years that Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNTY), parent company of Unity Bank, has been listed on the exchange and highlighting several financial milestones achieved during 2013.
"We visited the NASDAQ to celebrate the past, present and future of Unity as our company continues to grow, which means we can continue to enhance community banking services for our customers while providing a strong investment opportunity for Unity's stockholders," said Hughes. "During the last 15 years, we have nearly tripled our number of employees and expanded our services into more communities in Central Jersey and the Lehigh Valley. Even as we grow our top priority continues to be to provide individuals and businesses with a community banking experience that exceeds their expectations."
There have been several significant accomplishments for Unity since the start of the year. Most notably, the company booked a significant increase in loans. Total loans increased $35.3 million to $622.3 million at June 30, 2013 with growth generated primarily in the residential mortgage and commercial loan portfolios.Another significant accomplishment is Unity's exit from the Federal Government's Capital Purchase Program (CPP), which was created to help stabilize the financial system during the 2008 economic crisis. The taxpayers invested $20 million in Unity through the program allowing Unity to remain well-capitalized and continue to lend throughout the crisis. The company has now repaid that investment, and the U.S. Treasury has yielded a $7.3 million return on the investment. In the second quarter of 2013, Unity paid shareholders its first cash dividend since entering the CPP program. Unity reported net income available to common shareholders of $882,000 or $0.11 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, a 53.4% increase compared to the same period a year ago. The company also reported strong earnings in the first quarter of 2013 with net income available to common shareholders of $796,000, or $0.10 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, a 56.4% increase compared to the same period a year ago. After a strong 2012 when Unity realized a $4.2 million profit, a 67% increase over the previous year, Hughes forecast a strong 2013 for the bank, including record loan growth and continued expense management. Another major goal was realized in April with the $4.325 million purchase of three properties the bank had previously leased for branches in Edison, Highland Park and South Plainfield, New Jersey, a decision that will save the company over $200,000 annually. "The first eight months of 2013 have been extremely important to the future of the company and our ability to continue to capitalize on marketplace opportunities and trends," said Hughes. "Unity's operational fundamentals have improved so significantly that we were able to repay $20.6 million in high cost capital. In addition, loan demand has greatly improved, which should bolster revenue and enhance our future performance. Unity Bank is committed to being the best community banking option in our service area and we continue to achieve this goal by providing value-added, competitively priced services to our customers. At the same time, we are dedicated to providing our shareholders with a responsible, profitable investment." In the second quarter, Unity also reported:
- Noninterest-bearing deposits reached a record high of $128 million, an 11.9% increase from year-end, and now represent 20.4% of total deposits.
- Continued asset quality improvement as evidenced by: a 36.4% decrease in nonperforming assets from a year ago and a 68.2% decrease in net charge-offs.
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