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CAROLINA FIRST CORPORATION ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

 CAROLINA FIRST CORPORATION ANNOUNCES FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS
 GREENVILLE, S.C., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Carolina First Corporation (NASDAQ: CAFC) announced its fourth quarter results today. For the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, net income increased 61 percent to $1.680 million, and earnings per share increased 62 percent to $.60 per share. Earnings for the fourth quarter were $408,000, or $0.15 per share, compared to $147,000, or $0.05 per share, for the same period of 1990. As of the end of 1991, assets totaled $448 million, an increase of $102 million, or 29 percent, for the year. Loans increased 23 percent to end the year at $339 million, and deposits grew 36 percent to $407 million as of Dec. 31, 1991.
 While announcing these results, Mack I. Whittle, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: "In 1991, Carolina First Corporation enjoyed the strongest earnings growth of our five year history -- a 60 percent increase over last year. Our earnings have grown, on average, 35 percent per year since opening. Plus, Carolina First has been profitable since its second quarter of operations. We are especially pleased to report strong earnings growth during a period of substantial asset growth."
 Whittle also commented on the strength of the Corporation's loan portfolio. Carolina First's credit quality remains well above average for Southeastern banking companies. During 1991, strong quality measures were preserved while simultaneously increasing loans by 23 percent. Non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans were 0.69 percent as of Dec. 31, 1991, and loan charge-offs as a percentage of average loans remained low at 0.18 percent for 1991.
 Whittle continued: "Our growth and earnings progress during the last five years have reinforced our optimism and enthusiasm about our future. In our judgment, the state of South Carolina needs a major statewide bank, a bank not controlled by out-of-state banks, but a bank truly headquartered in South Carolina. Carolina First intends to play this role. We established this mission for our Company five years ago. It is as timely and vital now as it was then. We believe this basic strategy is in the best interests of both our shareholders and the state of South Carolina."
 Carolina First Corporation, a $448 million asset financial institution holding company, offers a broad range of commercial and consumer financial services through its two subsidiaries, Carolina First Bank and Carolina First Savings Bank. Carolina First Bank is a state chartered commercial bank that operates seven branches principally in northwestern South Carolina. Carolina First Savings Bank, headquartered in Georgetown, is a federally chartered savings bank with eight branches in coastal South Carolina.
 An initial public offering, held in October 1986, raised $15 million in capital to organize the Company. This public offering earned Carolina First the distinction of being the largest bank holding company created in South Carolina. Its stock is traded on the over-the-counter market under the NASDAQ symbol CAFC. Market makers of Carolina First Corporation include J.C. Bradford and Company, Interstate/Johnson Lane Securities, Robinson-Humphrey Company, Inc., and PaineWebber Incorporated.
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: William S. Hummers, III, Carolina First Corporation, 803-255-7900/
 (CAFC) CO: Carolina First Corporation ST: South Carolina IN: FIN SU: ERN


CM -- CH004 -- 9668 01/14/92 15:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1992
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