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February 7, 2019
We have been working towards terminating our Defined Benefit Pension Plan since 2012. We completed this process during the 4th quarter of 2018 and thus have recorded non-recurring pension termination expenses of $3.2 million during the 4th quarter and a total of $3.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. As a result, we recorded a loss of $436 thousand for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to a profit of $1.9 million earned during the fourth quarter of 2017. Earnings for the year ended December 31, 2018 were $7.1 million compared to earnings of $8.4 million in 2017. Impacting 2018 net earnings were nonrecurring pension termination expenses of $3.7 million as well as a reduction in income taxes of $1.5 million resulting primarily from the change in our effective federal income tax rate attributable to the Tax and Jobs Act of 2018. For more information about our 2018 earnings see the enclosed earnings press release dated January 16, 2019.
Total assets increased $59.5 million, or 8.0% to reach $805.3 million as of December 31, 2018 from $745.8 million a year ago. Loan growth continues to drive asset growth with total loans increasing $56.0 million, or 9.5% to $643.4 million as of December 31, 2018 compared to $587.4 million as of December 31, 2017. The investment portfolio also contributed to asset growth with an increase of $7.5 million, or 11.3%, year over year. Funding of loan and investment growth came from an increase in core deposits and to a lesser extent utilization of wholesale funding. Total deposits reached $706.8 million as of December 31, 2018 compared to $647.6 million a year ago, or growth of $59.2 million, or 9.1%. The Company had total capital of $64.5 million with a book value per share of $14.44 as of December 31, 2018 compared to $59.6 million and $13.14 per share as of December 31, 2017.
We are pleased to have concluded the process of terminating our defined benefit pension plan. As a result there will be no future impacts on earnings or equity caused by the plan. This is an important milestone for your Company.
Despite the volatility on Wall Street, our corner of the world seems to be fairly stable and generally upbeat economically. Tourism is good with weather cooperating for snow sports, our light industry sector seems quite sound, construction continues to be positive, and it is still a seller’s real estate market. Our business clients uniformly report challenges with staffing, and as a result there is pressure on wages throughout most of our market area. Good for workers, but a challenge for business owners.
2019 is going to be another year filled with projects, large and small. We currently have two new branches under construction, both in Chittenden County, Vermont, slated to open mid-year. We are also upgrading our fleet of ATMS and refreshing computers for all locations. Our marketing team has been hard at work developing a video “Brand Anthem.” We thought you might enjoy viewing it: https://go.ublocal.com/stories.
The Board of Directors met on January 16, 2019, and considered the financial performance of 2018, despite the impact of the termination of the pension plan, as well as expected financial performance in 2019 and declared a cash dividend of $0.31 per share for the quarter, an increase of 3.3% from the cash dividend of $0.30 paid in recent prior quarters. The dividend is payable February 7, 2019 to shareholders of record as of January 28, 2019.
If you need assistance with a change in registration of certificates, combining your certificates into one, reporting lost certificates, non-receipt or loss of dividend checks, assistance regarding direct deposit of dividends, information about the Company, or to receive copies of financial reports, please contact Kristy Adams Alfieri, Assistant Secretary at 802.888.0982 or contact our Transfer Agent at the address and phone number listed below:
Broadridge Corporate Issuer Solutions, Inc.
P.O. Box 1342
Brentwood, NY 11717
NASDAQ STOCK MARKET
Ticker Symbol: UNB
Corporate Name: Union Bankshares, Inc.
20 Lower Main Street
P.O. Box 667
Morrisville, VT 05661-0667
Investor Relations: UBLOCAL.COM
Kenneth D. Gibbons
David S. Silverman
President & Chief Executive Officer
About Union Bankshares
Union Bankshares, Inc. operates as the holding company for Union Bank, which provides commercial, retail and municipal banking services and asset management services throughout northern Vermont and New Hampshire. Union Bank was founded in 1891 in Morrisville, Vermont, where the Bank’s and its holding company’s headquarters are located. Union Bank operates 18 banking offices, two loan centers and several ATMs throughout its geographical footprint.
Union Bank has been helping people buy homes and local businesses create jobs in area communities since opening its doors over 127 years ago. Union Bank has earned an exceptional reputation for residential lending programs and has been recognized by the US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development for the positive impact made in lives of first time home buyers. Union Bank is consistently one of the top Vermont Housing Finance Agency mortgage originators. Additionally, Union Bank has also been designated as an SBA Preferred lender for its participation in small business lending.
The following information was filed by Union Bankshares Inc (UNB) on Thursday, February 7, 2019 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.