DEFIANCE, Ohio — Premier Financial Corp., reported net income Tuesday for all of 2021 at $126.1 million, up from $63.1 million – or $99.3 million excluding merger-related expenses – for 2020, according to a company release.
Premier Financial, headquartered in Defiance, is the holding company for Premier Bank, headquartered in Youngstown, and First Insurance Group with 10 offices in Ohio. The company reported earnings per share of $3.39 in 2021, compared to $1.75 – or $2.76 excluding merger-related expenses – for the previous year.
Year-over-year comparisons are “substantially impacted” by the Jan. 31, 2020 acquisition of United Community Financial Corp., holding company of First Savings Bank and HSB Insurance, according to the release.
Excluding Paycheck Protection Program loans, Premier saw loan growth of $133 million in 2021, including $106 million for commercial loans or an increase 3.1%.
“Strong loan growth continues to be the theme as we close out a successful 2021,” Gary Small, president and CEO of Premier, said in the release. “PPP adjusted growth for the fourth quarter totaled 8.7% on an annualized basis. And similar to the third quarter, each loan category grew with commercial lending leading the way at 10.3%. Premier’s core loan growth for the second half of 2021 totaled 7.0% on an annualized basis.
“When combined with the strong fundamentals in margin management and continued solid residential origination and fee income activity, we are entering 2022 with a great deal of momentum,” Small continued.
In its results, Premier also reported on the performance of PPP loans created by the Coronavius Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020 to help businesses keep employees on their payrolls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Bank made 2,880 PPP loans for a total of $443.3 million during the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, with total gross fees for these loans totaling $14.8 million. To date, Premier Bank has recognized $14.7 million as loan interest income, including $27,000 and $8.4 million during the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2021, respectively. Additionally, a total of $435.8 million in loans have been extinguished to date, including $2.4 million and $379.3 million during the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2021, respectively.
Beginning in January, Premier Bank participated in the second round of PPP lending and made 2,231 loans for a total of $193.6 million during the year ended Dec. 31, 2021.
Gross fees for these loans totaled $7.8 million, and Premier Bank has recognized $3.0 million and $6.2 million in loan interest income during the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2021, respectively. Additionally, a total of $82.6 million and $142.2 million in loans have been extinguished during the three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2021, respectively. Total PPP loans were $58.9 million at Dec. 31, 2021.
In other indicators:
Net interest income of $57.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 was up from $55 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, attributed to loan growth, PPP fees, and an 18 basis point decrease in average cost of funds. Net interest income was $227.4 million for 2021, compared with $208.0 million in 2020.
Non-interest income in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $17.8 million, compared with $18.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Total mortgage banking income decreased to $3.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 from $5.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Non-interest income for 2021 was $80 million, compared to $80.7 million in 2020.
Mortgage gains decreased to $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 from $6.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Total assets at Dec. 31, 2021, were $7.48 billion, compared to $7.47 billion at Sept. 30, 2021, and $7.21 billion at Dec. 31, 2020. Deposits at Dec. 31, 2021, were $6.28 billion, compared with $6.25 billion at Sept. 30, 2021, and $6.05 billion at Dec. 31, 2020.
At Dec. 31, 2021, total deposits grew $234.2 million organically, or 3.9% from a year ago.
The Premier Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per common share payable Feb. 18, 2022, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 11, 2022. The dividend represents an annual dividend of 4.01% based on the Premier common stock closing price on Jan . 24, 2022.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.