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TowneBank Reports First Quarter Earnings

SUFFOLK, Va., April 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hampton Roads based TowneBank (the "Bank") (Nasdaq:TOWN) reported earnings of $11.13 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, a 6.29% increase, or $659,000, over the $10.47 million reported for the comparative period in 2013. Net income available to common shareholders increased 19.96% to a record $10.94 million after preferred dividend payments of $191,000. Fully diluted earnings per share increased 6.90% to $0.31 per share compared to $0.29 per share for the comparative period of 2013.

The Bank's common dividend was $0.10 per share for the quarter with the common dividend totaling $3.53 million. The current dividend represents an increase of 11.1% over the dividend paid during the same quarter of 2013.

Earnings Highlights

Net interest income was virtually unchanged at $35.19 million, an $18,000, or 0.05%, decrease from the first quarter of 2013. Growth in average earning assets of $338.82 million was offset by a 28 basis point narrowing of the tax-equivalent net interest margin to 3.44% in the current quarter from 3.72% in the first quarter of 2013.

Noninterest income, excluding gains or losses on investment securities, decreased by $1.03 million, or 4.33%, to $22.73 million for the first quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter of 2013. The majority of the decline is attributable to residential mortgage banking income, which decreased $2.76 million, or 35.25%, from the comparative period in 2013 due to lower loan production volumes. The decrease was partially offset by increases in insurance commissions, which increased $1.08 million, or 13.51%, from the comparative period in 2013.

Noninterest expense increased by $485,000, or 1.19%, compared to the comparative quarter of 2013. A significant portion of the increase from the comparative period in 2013 is related to the acquisition of two insurance agencies in July 2013. Excluding the effect of the acquisitions, noninterest expense was essentially flat as the Bank launched a cost-control initiative in the first quarter of 2014 to improve operating efficiency.

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