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NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS REPORTS EARNINGS INCREASES IN FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR

          NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS REPORTS EARNINGS INCREASES
                    IN FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR
    WEST PATERSON, N.J., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- National Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCBR) reported that 1991 earnings increased to $12.4 million or $1.19 per share from $2.4 million or 23 cents per share in 1990.  Earnings for the fourth quarter of 1991 also increased to $3.14 million or 30 cents per share compared with $2.32 million or 22 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 1990.
    Robert M. Kossick, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, stated "We are encouraged by our 1991 earnings and the fact that non-performing loans have declined for three consecutive quarters. Most importantly, our core earnings, which are earnings before the extraordinary expenses associated with today's unusual levels of troubled loans, remain strong.  This increase in core earnings was achieved from the combination of an improved net interest margin resulting from a strong 9 percent growth in core deposits and a 7 percent increase in demand deposits which led to reduced funding costs. Earnings also benefited from a 6 percent increase in fee income and good control of non-interest expenses."
    The net interest margin for 1991 was 5.02 percent, up from 4.90 percent a year ago.  Excluding expenses associated with other real estate owned and the higher cost of FDIC insurance, non-interest expenses decreased $3.1 million from a year ago.  Fourth quarter 1991 results include a $2.9 million pre-tax gain on the sale of equity securities.  This gain offset expenses of approximately $1.4 million associated with branch consolidations and a fourth quarter downsizing of the company.
    Non-performing loans which include non-accruing and restructured loans declined for the last three quarters, ending the year at $85.8 million or 13.7 percent less than the year-end 1990 total of $99.4 million.  Non-performing assets were $188.3 million at year-end versus $159.4 million at Dec. 31, 1990, and essentially flat for the last three quarters of 1991.  At Dec. 31, 1991 the allowance for possible loan losses represented 88 percent of non-performing loans compared to 75 percent a year ago and 84 percent at the end of the third quarter of 1991.
    During 1991 NCBR sold approximately $8.4 million of other real estate versus $1.9 million in the prior year.  At the end of 1991 other real estate owned under contract of sale was approximately $6.0 million.
    Total capital increased from $213.3 million at Dec. 31, 1990 to $215.0 million at Dec. 31, 1991 primarily as a result of growth in retained earnings.  The bank's leverage capital ratio improved to 5.48 percent at Dec. 31, 1991 from 5.22 percent one year ago.
    National Community Banks, Inc. with assets of $4.021 billion serves New Jersey with 114 banking facilities in 13 counties.
    -0-          1/22/92
    /CONTACT:  Diane Dunleavy of Darcey & Darcey Advertising and Public Relations, 201-831-8805, for National Community Banks/
    (NCBR) CO:  National Community Banks, Inc. ST:  New Jersey IN:  FIN SU:  ERN FC-SH -- NY077 -- 2409 01/22/92 14:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 22, 1992
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