First Chester County Corporation this morning announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2009. Net income totaled $2.2 million, a respectable increase of 22% compared to $1.8 million in the second quarter of 2008. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.36, a slight rise from the $0.35 per diluted share reported for the second quarter of 2008. Average diluted shares outstanding increased 1.0 million to 6.3 million due to the shares issued in connection the acquisition of American Home Bank (AHB).

John A. Featherman, III, Chairman and CEO of First Chester County Corporation, stated, “Once again this quarter we generated a significant increase in our mortgage banking related income by capitalizing on the boom in refinancing activity. In the first half of 2009, we originated nearly $1.5 billion in new mortgage loans. At the same time, the steady withdrawal from our market of some large national financial institutions, as well as the various challenges being experienced by many local and regional banks, has created a more favorable competitive environment. With our diversified portfolio of traditional banking and wealth management services and disciplined credit culture, we are strengthening our franchise in our attractive markets to build value for our shareholders.”

According to the press release, First Chester County remains well-capitalized. Total assets rose 48.7% from the second quarter of 2008, mainly as a result of the acquisition of AHB. As of June 30, 2009, total deposits were $1.02 billion, up 39.2% compared to $729.3 million at June 30, 2008, but the increase was again largely caused by the acquisition of AHB. The provision for loan and lease losses in the second quarter of 2009 increased to $1.6 million, a sizeable increase from $449 thousand for the same period in 2008, reflecting the economic turbulence and resultant deterioration in the credit quality of the bank’s residential and commercial real estate portfolios.

Kevin C. Quinn, President of First Chester County Corporation, commented, “First National Bank’s growing franchise continues to be built on a solid foundation and a highly successful 145 year operating history. We are encouraged by the support and confidence of the investment community as represented by the capital raised in the second quarter. It enabled us to opportunistically respond to the growth opportunities arising from the significant spike in mortgage demand while sustaining our well-capitalized status.”

He continued, “Over the long term, our strategy is to remain prepared for similar growth opportunities by offering a wider variety of traditional banking and wealth management services while maintaining our disciplined credit culture. Our goal is to grow First National by capitalizing on growth opportunities in our highly affluent markets as well as selectively on a broader geographic basis where we have a distinct competitive advantage, such as retail mortgage banking. Though the unsettled nature of current economic conditions continues to present near term challenges, we are confident that the improvements being accomplished at First National will strengthen our franchise as we continue to build on the success we have achieved for 145 years.”