Seacoast Commerce Bank today announced its unaudited results of operations for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, reporting a pre-provision expense (PPE) operating profit of $203,000 for the quarter compared to a PPE operating loss of $139,000 for the first quarter of 2008.

The bank’s net profit after provisions for loan losses in the first quarter of 2010 was $53,000 compared to a net loss of $434,000 for the same period last year.

The company also noted several highlights, including asset growth of $31.7 million, or 39.4 percent, to a record $112.3 million; liquidity growth, defined as cash, due from banks and investment securities, of $14.6 million, or 92.1 percent, to $30.4 million; loan growth of $15.5 million, or 23.7 percent, to a record $81.1 million; SBA loan portfolio growth of $9.5 million, or 149 percent, to a record $15.8 million; deposit growth of $34.4 million, or 59.2 percent, to $92.5 million; and core deposit growth, defined as demand deposits, savings, money market accounts and certificates of deposit under $100 thousand of $23.7 million.

Richard M. Sanborn, president and CEO gave a run-down of the bank’s first-quarter achievements, and said that despite overall notions about the banking industry, Seacoast Commerce still offers small-business loans.

“We had a very good quarter on most all fronts. We raised an additional $3.2 million in new capital; we reduced our problem loans; we earned a profit for our shareholders, both pre-provision and post-provision expense; we increased our liquidity and virtually eliminated our wholesale (brokered) deposits and borrowings,” Sanborn stated in the press release. “I’m most proud of our team which is working diligently to help many business owners obtain financing to purchase real estate for their businesses. Contrary to what’s being reported in the press about the banking industry, we are lending to small businesses.”

The bank’s SBA Division reported producing $11.5 million in new loans to small businesses in the first quarter of 2010. The bank sold $9.9 million of those new loans and achieved a $960,000 gain on that sale.

In February of this year, Seacoast Commerce initiated a private placement to raise additional capital to support its growth plans, and as of March 31, 2010, the bank had raised $3.2 million, of which $1.2 million or 37.4 percent was contributed by the bank’s directors and officers.