UNION, N.J., July 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), today reported operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013. Net income available to common stockholders amounted to $4.9 million, or $0.30 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, an increase of $626,000 or approximately 14.7 percent as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $4.3 million, or $0.26 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. "Second quarter earnings remained strong with a continued improvement in our asset quality profile. We continued with momentum in expanding our presence in key markets, with the opening of our new Princeton office, our first location in Mercer County, New Jersey. This continues our goal of expanding our presence and visibility in markets we are drawing business from, allowing us to solidify and expand our service relationships. These types of actions, supported by our core earnings performance and strategic growth, create incremental shareholder value," said Anthony C. Weagley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank. For the six months ended June 30, 2013, net income available to common stockholders amounted to $9.8 million, or $0.60 per fully diluted common share, compared to $8.4 million, or $0.51 per fully diluted common share, for the same period in 2012. Mr. Weagley added: "We are pleased with this quarter's earnings and believe that our sequential earnings performance demonstrates the Corporation's commitment to achieving meaningful growth in earnings performance -- an essential component of providing consistent and favorable long-term returns to our shareholders. Margins were relatively stable and are poised for improvement with further loan growth. Loans achieved sequential growth with solid pipelines and core loan growth. Small businesses lending remains strong despite the continued uncertainty about the economic recovery and broader fiscal uncertainty. Our current targeted net growth for the third quarter remains on track with our year-on-year growth projection."