FITZGERALD, Ga., Jan. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBAN) today reported net loss available to shareholders of $47,000, or $(0.01) per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to fourth quarter 2009 net loss available to shareholders of $14,583,000 or $(2.02) per diluted share, while net loss available to shareholders for twelve months ended December 31, 2010 was $926,000 or $(0.11) per diluted share compared to net loss available to shareholders for the comparable period in 2009 of $20,549,000 or $(2.85) per diluted share. The increase in net income for both comparable periods was primarily driven by the reduction in loan loss provision to $2.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010 from $21.87 million for the comparable quarterly period in 2009, while the loan loss provision for calendar year 2010 decreased to $13.35 million from $43.45 million for calendar year 2009. "While disappointed that 2010 earnings are below our historic standards, our pre-tax, pre-provision core earnings continue to provide solid support for the credit-related expenses needed to address our problem loan assets. The liquidation of other real estate remains a challenge for the banking industry in this 'soft' real estate market and earnings continue to be pressured due to the credit-related expenses associated with carrying and liquidating these properties. Though our non-performing assets ticked up slightly during the quarter, it is encouraging to see some signs of slight improvement with the economy and the pace of new problem credits slowing down. Until there is some stabilization with the real estate market and economy, we expect problem assets, charge-offs and credit-related expenses to continue to be elevated above historical levels and loan demand to continue to be sluggish. We remain committed to reducing our non-performing assets to an acceptable level in a timely and prudent manner and returning to our accustomed earnings standards. That commitment extends into 2011 and though we still have much work to do, we made significant progress in 2010," said Al D. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer.