FITZGERALD, Ga., April 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBAN), today reported net income available to shareholders of $567,000, or $0.07 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2013 compared to net income available to shareholders of $189,000, or $0.02 per diluted share for the comparable 2012 period. This reflects an increase of 200 percent for the comparable periods and was primarily driven by an increase in net interest income and noninterest income - along with a reduction in provision for loan losses. "First quarter was another positive quarter and reflected solid results in building on the momentum carrying over from 2012. In addition to improved earnings, we achieved significant improvement in asset quality. Non-performing assets decreased to $39.58 million at March 31, 2013 from $46.16 million at December 31, 2012, or a decrease of 14.25 percent, while the substandard assets to tier one capital plus loan loss allowance ratio improved to 45.85 percent at March 31, 2013 from 55.60 percent at December 31, 2012. Though improvement was once again realized this quarter, we still have much work ahead to meet our goals of reducing our problem assets to an acceptable level and returning to acceptable earnings. Our board, management and staff remain committed to making incremental progress toward these goals during 2013," said Ed Loomis, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This will be an interesting and challenging year in the banking industry as we continue to address a less than robust economy and interest rates at historically low levels. Continued efforts to strengthen our balance sheet by reducing the level of problem assets along with loan growth, margin improvement and revenue enhancement initiatives will further position our company for sustained profitability and long-term success." Capital Colony continues to maintain a strong capital position to be categorized as "well-capitalized" by regulatory benchmarks. At March 31, 2013, the Company's tier one leverage ratio, tier one and total risk-based capital ratios were 10.18 percent, 15.60 percent and 16.86 percent, respectively, compared to the previous quarter end of 10.22 percent, 15.22 percent and 16.47 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2012 and to 9.38 percent, 15.73 percent and 16.99 percent, respectively, at March 31, 2012. Regulatory benchmarks to be categorized as "well-capitalized" for tier one leverage ratio, tier one and total risk-based capital ratios are 5.00 percent, 6.00 percent and 10.00 percent, respectively.