Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. reported net income of $173,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2010. In the same quarter of 2009, the bank earned $78,000, or $0.01 per diluted share.

The better performance was powered by a 29% jump in net interest income in the quarter. The management of Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. attributed the higher net interest income to a decision to allow the run off of high rate certificates of deposit, leading to lower funding costs.

Mortimer J. O’Shea, the CEO of Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc., said, “Our first quarter results look even better when we consider that we made a decision to increase the quarterly loan loss provision by $60,000 when compared to last year. This increase reflects our history of maintaining a conservative credit culture and keeps our allowance for loan losses at a level significantly above the average for banks in New Jersey.”

Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. saw a decline in total loans on a year over year basis, from $115.8 million in the first quarter of 2009 to $112.3 million in the quarter just ended. The bank blamed lower loan demand due to the recession.

Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company that owns Hilltop Community Bank, a state chartered bank located in New Jersey. Hilltop Community Bank has three branches and operates in Union, Essex, Morris and Somerset Counties in New Jersey.