The First Bancorp’s profits up despite ‘sluggish’ economy

By Matt Wickenheiser, BDN Staff
Posted July 19, 2012, at 8:49 a.m.

Damariscotta-based The First Bancorp said Thursday that it saw second quarter profits up $3.3 million, or 4.1 percent, over the same period a year ago.

Profits were down slightly, however, for the first six months of 2012 — hitting $6.2 million, down $100,000, or 1.6 percent.

Despite what company President and CEO Daniel R. Daigneault called the best quarterly earnings in three years, The First still sees weakness in overall economic conditions.

“Net income in the second quarter broke out of the consistent range of $2.9 million to $3.2 million we have seen over the past two years,” he said in a Thursday release. “We still see weaknesses in the economy, however, with continued low interest rates, margin compression and lower net interest income.”

Daigneault said the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston recently reported that New England’s unemployment rate continued to improve in May, falling for a fourth consecutive month to 6.8 percent, and that unemployment in Maine is “showing a similar trend, and while slightly above the New England average at 7.4 percent, it is also lower than a year ago.”

“While unemployment and housing prices may be showing slight improvement, our economy is still sluggish, and these two factors have the greatest impact on credit quality,” Daigneault said.

The First Bancorp is the holding company for The First, N.A. which serves Mid-Coast and Down East Maine with 14 offices in Lincoln, Knox, Hancock and Washington Counties. The company trades under the symbol “FNLC” on the NASDAQ.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/19/business/the-first-bancorps-profits-up-despite-sluggish-economy/ printed on September 23, 2014