CHARLESTON, S.C., April 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Holdings, Inc. ("First Financial") (Nasdaq:FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Bank ("First Federal"), announced today net income available to common shareholders of $4.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared with $6.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 and $770 thousand for the three months ended March 31, 2012. Diluted net income per common share was $0.26 for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared with $0.41 for the prior quarter and $0.05 for the same quarter last year. "This quarter marked the most notable announcement in our company's 78 years," said R. Wayne Hall, president and chief executive officer of First Financial and First Federal. "We are excited about building a premier regional bank in the Southeast through our merger with SCBT. This partnership benefits our customers, shareholders, and employees. The market continues to react favorably to the combination as evidenced by the continued enhancement to shareholder value since our announcement. We have begun the process to seek required approvals from shareholders and regulators and have commenced to collaborate on integration plans so that we can leverage the best practices of both companies." Significant Development for the Quarter On February 19, 2013, First Financial entered into a merger agreement with SCBT Financial Corporation ("SCBT"). Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the agreement, First Financial plans to merge with and into SCBT with SCBT continuing as the surviving corporation after the merger and First Federal will merge with and into SCBT's bank subsidiary. The merger is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions. Under the terms of the agreement, SCBT will add five First Financial board members to the combined company's board. Robert J. Hill, Jr., president and chief executive officer of SCBT, will continue to serve as chief executive officer of the combined company and R. Wayne Hall will be named president of the combined company.