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CRESTAR FINANCIAL CORPORATION REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 CRESTAR FINANCIAL CORPORATION REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS
 RICHMOND, Va., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Crestar Financial Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: CRFC) today reported net income of $13.7 million for the first quarter of 1992, a 14 percent increase over the $12.0 million earned in the first quarter of 1991.
 Earnings per share of $.40 increased 11 percent from the $.36 earned in the first quarter of last year.
 Richard G. Tilghman, chairman and chief executive officer of Crestar, attributed the increased earnings to higher noninterest income and a lower provision for loan losses, and pointed to significant improvement in the company's credit quality. "Nonperforming assets declined for the second quarter in a row and are now down nearly 25 percent from their peak in the third quarter of last year. Although its slow pace gives us cause for some concern, the economic recovery currently underway, combined with our own ability to effectively resolve problem credits, gives us reason to be optimistic about the prospects for continued improvement in both credit quality and earnings as the year goes on."
 Nonperforming assets dropped to $319.0 million or 4.58 percent of loans and foreclosed properties at March 31. This represents a $31.0 million or 9 percent improvement from the $350.0 million of nonperforming assets reported at year-end 1991 and a $97.6 million or 23 percent improvement from the peak level of nonperforming assets reported at Sept. 30, 1991. Nonperforming loans fell from $270.3 million at the end of the year to $233.8 million at March 31. Foreclosed properties increased to $85.2 million at the end of the first quarter from $79.7 million at Dec. 31, 1991.
 The first quarter provision for loan losses was $30.1 million. Net charge-offs totaled $30.4 million or 1.76 percent of average loans and reflected a continued high level of charge-offs associated with the company's real estate portfolio. Prior year's figures were $37.3 million for the loan loss provision and $20.1 million in net charge- offs, representing 1.07 percent of average loans in the first quarter of 1991. The allowance for loan losses stood at $219.4 million at March 31, which was equivalent to 3.19 percent of loans, 69 percent of nonperforming assets and 94 percent of nonperforming loans.
 The acquisition of the deposits and selected branches of the former Perpetual Savings Bank was completed during the first quarter, increasing the number of Crestar banking locations in the Greater Washington marketplace to 104 and adding approximately $1.1 billion in average deposits. As expected, the acquisition had a negative impact on first quarter earnings; however, management continues to believe that it will be non-dilutive for the year.
 Noninterest income of $56.0 million increased 19 percent over the first quarter of 1991, driven by strong growth in service charges on deposit accounts and mortgage origination and servicing income. Noninterest expense of $116.0 million was up 15 percent, but included $6.1 million in expenses associated with the Perpetual acquisition and approximately $8.9 million in expenses related to foreclosed properties. Excluding these items, expenses were up 1 percent from the prior year's first quarter.
 Tax-equivalent net interest income increased 1 percent over the first quarter of 1991, reflecting a $2.0 million benefit from the Perpetual acquisition. The acquisition adversely affected the net interest margin, however, by approximately 29 basis points, roughly half of which was due to the temporary impact of carrying above-market rate deposits until they could be repriced or redeemed in late January. As a consequence, the net interest margin declined 10 basis points to 4.08 percent from 4.18 percent in the first quarter of 1991. Average core deposit growth, including the impact of acquisitions, was robust at 25 percent. Average loans declined by 8 percent, reflecting weak loan demand caused by the ongoing impact of the recession on our customers.
 Crestar Financial Corporation is the holding company for three banks with 289 banking offices in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Other subsidiaries provide insurance, discount brokerage, mortgage banking and investment advisory services. At March 31, Crestar had total assets of $12.2 billion and total deposits of $10.0 billion. Equity capital of $807 million represented 6.59 percent of assets.
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Janet S. McCabe, 804-782-5619, or Barry Koling, 804-782-7845, both of Crestar Financial Corporation/
 (CRFC) CO: Crestar Financial Corporation ST: Virginia IN: FIN SU: ERN


BR-EA -- CH005 -- 6870 04/09/92 14:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 9, 1992
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