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COVENANT BANK REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RECORD EARNINGS

 HADDONFIELD, N.J., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Covenant Bank, one of southern New Jersey's fastest-growing financial institutions, recorded its highest earnings ever during its first quarter which ended March 31, 1993.
 The bank reported net income of $125,000 or $.07 per common share, from $62,000 or $.06 per common share a year earlier.
 Net income per common share for the quarter ended March 31, 1993, reflects a first quarter preferred stock dividend of $52,000. The primary factor contributing to the improvement in first quarter results was a 39 percent increase in net interest income, partially offset by higher operating expenses incident to the growth and development of the bank.
 Total assets increased by 15 percent (as compared to the same period last year), from $100.5 million to $115.5 million. Total loans increased by 26 percent to $80.6 million. Total deposits increased to $97.5 million, a $17.7 million increase or, 22 percent over 1992 deposits of $79.8 million.
 "We remain confident that we've established a firm foundation on which Covenant Bank can continue to grow and prosper," stated Philip W. Koebig III, Covenant's president and chief executive officer.
 Covenant's net interest margin continues to show significant improvement, primarily as a result of declining cost of deposits. The bank's net interest margin for the quarter ending March 31, 1993, was 4.58 percent compared to 4.35 percent and 3.68 percent for the quarters ending Dec. 31, 1992, and March 31, 1992, respectively.
 Non-performing assets (non-performing loans and other real estate owned) as a percentage of total loans and other real estate owned was 2.15 percent at March 31, 1993, compared to 2.62 percent as of March 31, 1992. Non-performing assets amounted to $1.8 million at March 31, 1993.
 "We are aggressively working to reduce the levels of these assets, and at the same time build our reserves against any possible future loan losses," said Koebig. "In addition, we will continue to manage the bank's credit risk through strong underwriting standards and proper diversification of the loan portfolio to ensure sound asset quality."
 Covenant's allowance for loan losses amounted to $1.7 million or 299 percent of non-performing loans and 99 percent of non-performing assets as of March 31, 1993.
 Since its founding in 1988, Covenant has grown from one office, based in Haddonfield, to five full-service personal banking centers in Atlantic (Linwood), Burlington (Moorestown), Camden (Haddonfield, two offices) and Cape May counties (Cape May Court House), N.J. In June, Covenant will add three more offices, located at Atco, Voorhees and Sicklerville, marking the successful acquisition of New Jersey Savings and Loan Association.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/4/93
 /CONTACT: Beverly Cohen of RB&T, 609-428-3105, for Covenant Bank/


CO: Covenant Bank ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU: ERN

MJ-CC -- PH021 -- 4380 05/04/93 13:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 4, 1993
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