DUNN, N.C., Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New Century Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" NASDAQ: NCBC), the holding company for New Century Bank, today reported net income of $4.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, and basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.67. These results compare to a net loss of $163,000 and basic and diluted losses per share of $0.02 for the year ended December 31, 2011. For the quarter ended December 31, 2012, the Company reported net income of $735,000 and basic and diluted income per share of $0.11, compared to net income of $632,000 and basic and diluted income per share of $0.09 for fourth quarter 2011. Net income for 2012 was positively impacted by two non-recurring events: a $2.4 million loan recovery in the first quarter and a $557,000 gain on the sale of New Century Bank's Pembroke and Raeford branches in the second quarter. In a year-to-year comparison, non-performing assets are down from $22.7 million to $14.9 million, resulting in overall improvement in asset quality. At year-end, the Company remains well-capitalized, which is the highest capital category based on regulatory guidelines. Total assets for the Company as of December 31, 2012, were $588.2 million, total deposits were $498.6 million, and total loans were $367.9 million, compared to total assets of $589.7 million, total deposits of $501.4 million, and total loans of $417.6 million as of the same date in 2011. The decline in deposits and loans in a year-to-year comparison is due in part to the sale of the Pembroke and Raeford offices to Lumbee Guaranty Bank during second quarter 2012, and to a generally soft regional economy. "On behalf of our board of directors and our staff," said William L. Hedgepeth, president and CEO of New Century Bancorp and New Century Bank. "We are pleased with our results of operations in 2012. While overall results were positively impacted by non-recurring events, results from core operations were strong on their own. "There are still challenges ahead for our bank and for the banking industry as a whole. The biggest challenge is continuing soft loan demand and a low interest rate environment that results in a tight net interest margin. In addition, the cost of complying with new legislation and the resultant regulatory requirements is steep. While the economy is showing signs of recovery, it is still struggling, and to a great extent remains a jobless recovery. Many of our customers—both personal and business—are working hard to gain financial ground lost over the past few years. Our role is to stand with them and do all we can to help.