AUGUSTA, Ga., April 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Georgia-Carolina Bancshares, Inc. (OTCQB:GECR), parent company of First Bank of Georgia, today reported 2014 first quarter net income of $852,000 ($0.24 per diluted common share), compared to $2,307,000 ($0.65 per diluted common share) for the three months ended March 31, 2013. Book value totaled $16.54 per common share at March 31, 2014. Remer Y. Brinson III, President and CEO of the Company, stated: "We are pleased to report first quarter earnings of $852,000, although this is well below our first quarter of 2013, where net income was increased by an $806,000 benefit on an insurance policy, as well as higher mortgage loan volume and related gain on loans held for sale. We've seen an increase in loan demand which has resulted in a quarterly increase of 4.6% in loans, excluding loans held for sale. We have also experienced a 5.0% increase in net interest income when comparing the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of last year." Brinson continued, "We have continued to see soft demand in mortgage originations for the third consecutive quarter. Originations for the first quarter of 2014 are down approximately 40% from the first quarter of 2013, which is consistent with national mortgage originations." "Asset quality continues to improve and is approaching pre-recession levels," Brinson related. "Non-performing assets are now only 1.15% of total assets and we continue to operate in a net recovery position related to our allowance for loans losses." Georgia-Carolina Bancshares' Board of Directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of common stock payable on May 20, 2014, to shareholders of record as of May 13, 2014. Georgia-Carolina Bancshares' common stock is quoted on the OTC Marketplace (OTCQB) under the symbol "GECR". First Bank of Georgia conducts banking operations through seven offices in Richmond County (Augusta), Columbia County (Evans and Martinez), and McDuffie County (Thomson), Georgia and operates mortgage origination offices in Augusta and Savannah, Georgia.