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FIRST UNION CORP. CHAIRMAN REVIEWS COMPANY'S PERFORMANCE

 FIRST UNION CORP. CHAIRMAN REVIEWS COMPANY'S PERFORMANCE
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of First Union Corporation (NYSE: FTU FTUpr) believes the company is positioned to build on its outstanding first quarter performance as recent acquisitions and a diversified business strategy continue to produce results.
 First Union Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward E. Crutchfield Jr. told shareholders at the company's annual meeting today that First Union is "benefitting from the strong and efficient network we've built in one of the nation's best banking markets. First Union clearly has the ability to profit from the growth in our region as the banking industry continues to consolidate," Crutchfield said.
 First Union's outlook is benefitting from a higher net interest margin, improved efficiency, a lower loan loss provision, the success of the Southeast Banks transaction and strong growth in the company's specialty businesses. Those businesses include mortgage banking, home equity lending, trust, brokerage, insurance, bank cards, and merchant and investment banking.
 First Union reported the highest quarterly earnings in its history earlier this month. First quarter earnings rose 34 percent to $98 million, or 81 cents per common share.
 While First Union is not depending on loan growth to fuel short-term earnings, Crutchfield said the company is "focused on finding good lending opportunities in our markets. We believe the recession is over."
 At the end of April, First Union will complete the conversion of the former Southeast Banks offices in Northern Florida. The statewide consolidation is expected to be completed on schedule by September 30, twelve months after First Union's FDIC-assisted transaction was announced.
 Crutchfield reviewed other significant events of the past year, including the addition of $639 million in new common equity capital, which was raised primarily from the company's two successful stock offerings. First Union's total market capitalization is now approximately $5 billion, a 180 percent increase from year-end 1990.
 From year-end 1990 to March 31, 1992, the stock of the nation's 25 largest bank holding companies appreciated an average 76 percent, compared with First Union's 133 percent increase.
 First Union Corporation is the nation's 13th largest bank holding company, based on year-end rankings. First Union reported assets of $46.1 billion as of March 31, 1992, with 1,018 banking offices in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, one banking office in Tennessee, and 207 nonbanking offices in 36 states.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Media Contact - Jeep Bryant, First Union Corporation, 704-374-2957 (W) or 704-335-0415 (H)/
 (FTU FTUpr) CO: First Union Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU: ECO


DF -- CH002 -- 0469 04/21/92 10:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1992
Words:433
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