HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg-based, The First, a National Banking Association, has reported record profits for 2014.
Bank officials said Tuesday the company had net earnings of $6.2 million last year, which is a 48 percent increase over 2013.
The First also had a 40 percent increase in 4th quarter earnings when compared to the same period in 2013.
Hoppy Cole, president and CEO of First Bancshares, Inc., a holding company for The First, said the earnings were largely the result of company expansions during the last three years.
"Because of the acquisition charges that we had earlier in the year, that fourth quarter was the first real true quarter without any one-time, sort of extraordinary expenses, and it included all the revenue from the recent acquisitions that we had done," said Cole. "So, we really hope and think that that's a real good indicator of what the run rate or what the future earnings potential could be," he said.
The First was founded in 1997. It currently has 31 branches in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.