Jn. 23. Aquesta Financial Holdings reports 2016 net income rose 15.8 percent from 2015 earnings. At year-end Aquesta’s total assets were $348.7 million, up 19 percent from $293.1 million at the end of 2015.
“I’m very happy to announce continued excellent earnings combined with excellent growth for the final quarter of an outstanding year. Our almost 30 percent loan growth reflects positively on our people and our strategy,” said Jim Engel, CEO and president of Aquesta, the only bank headquartered in Cornelius.
For the fourth quarter, Aquesta had unaudited net income of $529,000 (16 cents per share) compared to fourth quarter of 2015 net income of $387,000 (13 cents per share).
For the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2016, Aquesta’s net income was $2.2 million (66 cents per share) compared to $1.9 million (64 cents per share) in 2015.
Total loans rose 28.2 percent to $250.8 million at year-end 2016, compared to $195.6 million at the end of 2015. Core deposits increased 39.2 percent to $205.3 million at Dec. 31 this past year, compared to $147.4 million at the end of 2015.
Engel said asset quality remains strong, with nonperforming loans dropping to $1.7 million at year-end vs. compared to $1.8 million at Sept. 30, 2016. Other real estate owned—foreclosed property—stood at $1.5 million at year end.
Net interest income was $11.0 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared to $9.8 million for the full year 2015, representing a 12.3 percent increase. The increase in net interest income continues to be directly associated with loan growth over the past year, Engel said.
Non-interest expense was $12.6 million for 2016 compared to $10.5 million for the full year 2015. The increase in expense was due to the additional personnel and occupancy cost associated with the recent addition of two new branches, Engel said.
Personnel expense was at $7.8 million as of December 31, 2016 compared to $6.5 million as of December 31, 2015.
Occupancy expense increased $186,000 in 2016 compared to 2105. This was mainly due to the addition of the Wilmington branch, Engel said. Other real estate owned losses amounted to $243,000 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 as compared to $128,000 in 2015. The losses recognized during 2016 were due to the sale of OREO property.