Columbia Banking System Reports 1999 Fourth Quarter Performance and Earnings Growth

“Columbia Banking System, Inc. has announced performance and earnings growth for fourth quarter 1999.Net income for the fourth quarter was reported at $3.6 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, an increase of 37 percent over net income of $2.6 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 1998. Return on assets and return on equity for the quarter averaged 1.19 percent and 14.60 percent, respectively, compared with 1.03 and 11.84 percent, respectively, for fourth quarter 1998.For the year ended December 31, 1999 the bank’s net income was reported at $11.7 million compared with net income of $10.2 million in 1998, an increase of 14 percent. On a diluted per share basis, net income for 1999 was $1.08 per share compared with net income of $0.94 per share in 1998, an increase of 15 percent. Return on assets and return on equity averaged 1.03 percent and 12.32 percent, respectively, compared to 1.09 percent and 12.05 percent, respectively, for last year.Loans and deposits both reached the $1 billion milestone in 1999. Columbia Banking System’s assets were reported as $1.2 billion at December 31, 1999, up 17 percent from $1.1 billion at year-end 1998. Loans grew 26 percent to $1 billion at year-end 1999, from $829 million at the end of 1998, while deposits increased 11 percent to $1 billion at year-end 1999 from $938 million at December 31, 1998. Average loans and deposits increased 24 percent and 22 percent, respectively, for 1999 compared with 1998.Net interest income increased 24 percent during the fourth quarter 1999, compared with the same period in 1998, while noninterest income was up 17 percent for the quarter compared with the prior year. Noninterest expense increased 14 percent in the fourth quarter 1999 over fourth quarter, 1998.For the year ended December 31, 1999 compared with 1998, net interest income increased 18 percent, and noninterest income was up 24 percent. Noninterest expense rose 21 percent for the year compared with 1998, with the most significant increase occurring in the first quarter. Quarter to quarter variances in noninterest expense in the second, third and fourth quarters compared with the previous quarter showed no increase in the second quarter, and 2 percent increases in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.At December 31, 1999 non-accrual loans were $4.4 million, or 0.42 percent of total loans, compared with $3.6 million, or 0.43 percent of loans, at December 31, 1998. Nonperforming assets, which includes nonaccrual and restructured loans and other real estate owned, were 0.58 percent of total assets at year-end 1999 compared with 0.59 percent in 1998. The allowance for loan losses equaled $10 million, or 169 percent of nonperforming loans, at December 31, 1999. Net loan charge-offs were $1.4 million for the full year 1999 compared with $1.3 million for the year 1998.Gallagher said Chairman W. W. Philip, who retired as Chief Executive Officer at the end of 1999 will continue as Chairman of the Board and an advisor to the management team. Columbia Bank announced it will be led by Melanie J. Dressel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Bank and President and Chief Operating Officer of CBSI. Executive vice presidents H.R. Russell, Evans Tex Whitney, and Gary R. Schminkey complete the executive management team.Dressel said the Bank opened two new branches in 1999, bringing the number of locations to 27 in a five-county area. Dressel added full-service branches in two new Pierce County market areas are planned for 2000.”