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NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS REPORTS SECOND QUARTER GAIN IN EARNINGS

 NATIONAL COMMUNITY BANKS REPORTS SECOND QUARTER GAIN IN EARNINGS
 WEST PATERSON, N.J., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- National Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCBR) reported today that second quarter earnings improved to $5.4 million or 51 cents per share as compared with $3.1 million or 30 cents per share for the second quarter of 1991.
 For the first six months of 1992, earnings were $10.1 million or 96 cents per share as compared with $6.1 million or 59 cents per share for the same period one year ago. On a per-share basis, earnings increased by 63 percent for the first six months of 1992 as compared with the same period of last year and by 70 percent when the second quarter of 1992 is compared with the second quarter of 1991.
 Robert M. Kossick, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, stated, "We are pleased with our mid-year results in that they represent a significant improvement over 1991. We recognize, however, that obstacles relating to existing economic conditions must still be overcome before the company returns to the performance levels achieved in the past."
 Kossick stated further that "the improvement in our first half performance reflected primarily a decrease in the loan loss provision and an increase in NCBR's core earnings (earnings before taxes, non- recurring gains, loan loss provisions, and costs associated with troubled assets). NCBR's ability to increase core earnings resulted from its attractive, stable, lower cost deposit base which generated a favorable second quarter net-interest margin of 5.20 percent, the highest margin achieved over the past 10 quarters. Growth in service fee income of 8 percent over last year and effective cost containment programs also contributed to our performance."
 Total assets at mid-year were $3.978 billion as compared with $3.974 billion at June 30, 1991, while deposits were $3.629 billion and loans were $2.315 billion at June 30, 1992. Deposits were unchanged while loans decreased by 14 percent from one year ago.
 Non-performing loans declined to $80.9 million at June 30, 1992, from $109.1 million a year ago. Non-performing loans included loans totaling $73 million on which interest is not currently being accrued, and renegotiated loans totaling $7.9 million on which interest is being accrued. These totals compare with $99.8 million and $9.3 million, respectively, at June 30, 1991. Non-performing assets consisting of non-performing loans, in-substance foreclosures, and other real estate owned totaled $176.5 million at June 30, 1992, vs. $186.9 million at June 30, 1991. Sales of other real estate owned and pay downs of in- substance foreclosures were $16.4 million for the first six months of 1992 as compared with $1.1 million for the same period a year ago. Net charge-offs totaled $5.3 million for the second quarter and $8.8 million for the first half of 1992 as compared with $8.7 million and $16.4 million, respectively, for the second quarter and first six months of 1991.
 The provision for loan losses totaled $6 million for the second quarter and $12 million for the first half of 1992, as compared with $9 million and $22.7 million, respectively, for the comparable periods in 1991. At June 30, 1992, the allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL) stood at $79.1 million vs. $80.7 million one year ago and represented 97.8 percent of non-performing loans vs. 73.9 percent one year ago. At mid-1992, the ALLL was 3.4 percent of total loans as compared with 3 percent one year ago.
 During the second quarter of 1992, NCBR raised $27.2 million in new Tier I equity capital through the issuance of 1,150,000 shares of cumulative convertible preferred stock. When combined with retained earnings, and new capital generated through the dividend reinvestment and stock purchase plan, capital increased 18.2 percent to $250.1 million at June 30, 1992, as compared with $211.5 million on June 30, 1991. At mid-year 1992, the company's leverage capital ratio of equity capital to average quarterly assets stood at 6.41 percent as compared with 5.39 percent one year ago. Tier I and combined Tier I and Tier II risk adjusted capital ratios were 9.73 percent and 11 percent, respectively, at June 30, 1992.
 National Community Banks, Inc. serves New Jersey with 115 banking facilities in 13 counties.
 -0- 7/22/92
 /CONTACT: media, Arthur C. Ramirez, first senior VP, 201-357-7109, or financial, Anthony J. Franchina, executive VP and treasurer, 201-357-7106, both of National Community Banks/
 (NCBR) CO: National Community Banks Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU: ERN


KD-CK -- NY065 -- 1929 07/22/92 12:54 EDT
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Date:Jul 22, 1992
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