First Bancorp sees profits up in 1st half of 2011

Posted July 21, 2011, at 8:38 a.m.
Last modified July 21, 2011, at 7 p.m.

The First Bancorp on Thursday released its financials for the first six months of 2011, announcing profits of $6.3 million.

That was an 8.4 percent improvement over the same period last year. The Damariscotta-based bank made $492,000 more in profit during the 2011 period.

In its most recent quarter, the company saw profits of $3.2 million, up 1 percent from the same period a year ago.

The First Bancorp is the holding company for The First, the bank that resulted from the 2005 merger of The First National Bank of Damariscotta with The First National Bank of Bar Harbor.

“Relatively stable conditions continued in the second quarter of 2011, as was seen in the prior quarter, with strong operating results, continued stability in credit quality, and performance that continues to be significantly better than our peer group,” said company President and CEO Daniel R. Daigneault in release.

“Improved employment numbers will ultimately be the path to a stronger and improved economy,. Although the unemployment rate in Maine, at 7.7 percent, is still well below the national unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, we feel it will be some time before the economy returns to pre-2008 levels. In the meantime, our focus will be to maintain stable asset quality, strong capital ratios, a return on assets and a return on equity well above our peer group, and the dividend at an annual rate of $0.78 per share.”

The First has 14 branches in Lincoln, Knox, Hancock and Washington Counties, and employs 225. It trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol FNLC, and opened Thursday at $14.90