FF&M posts strong quarter

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

COLUMBIA -- First Farmers & Merchants Corporation, reported first quarter 2008 net income of $2.7 million, an increase of 34 percent over the same period in 2007.

Management of First Farmers & Merchants Bank, the wholly owned banking subsidiary of FFMC (F&M Bank) attributed the income growth during the period to favorable gains that were realized in the bond portfolio, a strong net interest margin and an increased focus on efficient operations.

Total assets as of March 31, 2008, increased to $862.3 million, an increase of 8.59 percent compared to total assets at March 31, 2007. Shareholder equity grew from $105.3 million at March 31, 2007, to $108.9 million at March 31, 2008.

"We are very pleased with our results in the first quarter of 2008," said T. Randy Stevens, chairman and CEO. "During an unusually turbulent period for the banking industry, we are reporting that our net income increased, our total assets grew, and our asset quality remained strong at F&M Bank due to a continued emphasis on credit quality."

"In the second quarter we will break ground on a new full-service facility in Franklin," said F&M Bank President, Tim Pettus. "We expect that new office to be completed in the first quarter of 2009."

F&M Bank continues to finalize plans for branch service improvements throughout 2008 and beyond.