Published July 27, 2012
Columbia-based SCBT Financial Corp., parent of South Carolina Bank and Trust, reported Friday that net income for the second quarter climbed 63% to $8 million compared with $4.9 million for the same period in 2011.
Operating earnings, which excludes merger and conversion-related expense, totaled $9.4 million, up 77% over $5.3 million reported for the same period in 2011.
With interest rates at historical lows, the home-loan business for both purchases and refinancing has strengthened in recent weeks, said John Pollok, senior vice president, CFO and COO, during a teleconference call with analysts.
“The pipeline is extremely full,” Pollok said, noting that the bank is doing more loans for residential purchases today than it has done in the last two to three years.
“In the last several weeks the volume of refi has gone up tremendously,” Pollok said. “The purchase business is still good, but there’s just so much refi business out there today.”
Robert R. Hill Jr., president and CEO of SCBT Financial, labeled the company’s performance in the second quarter as “exceptional” and cited the benefits of recent acquisitions.
“Our balance sheet strength allowed us to be opportunistic during the economic downturn, with regard to organic growth, FDIC-assisted transactions and whole bank acquisitions,” Hill said.
SCBT began to see some benefits of recent acquisitions during the first quarter, but the second quarter’s performance demonstrates the overall impact of that strategy, Hill said.
“Highlights of the quarter included meaningful asset quality improvements, successful integration of Peoples Bancorporation, solid legacy loan growth, fee income increases in every category and a much improved efficiency ratio. We still have a great opportunity to improve further, but are off to a strong 2012,” Hill said.
At the end of the second quarter, SCBT’s total assets totaled $4.4 billion after the merger of Easley-based Peoples Bancorp. In April, SCBT Financial completed the $28.4 million acquisition of Peoples and its three banking subsidiaries.
SCB&T, which ranks as the sixth-largest bank in South Carolina by deposit market share, added eight full-service banking locations in the Upstate, including stores in Pickens, Anderson, Greenville and Oconee counties.
SCB&T now operates 78 offices in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Twenty-eight of those offices are in counties along Interstate 85 connecting Charlotte, Greenville and Atlanta.
In 2011, SCBT acquired Community Bank & Trust in Georgia and Columbia-based BankMeridian in FDIC-assisted deals.