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Published: Tuesday, 1/20/2009

First Defiance reports year s profit off sharply

DEFIANCE First Defiance Financial Corp. announced Monday night that its profit in 2008 fell to $7.4 million, or just over half what it earned the year before.

In its financial report, the banking company said its provision for loan losses soared and it took charges related to its acquisition of Pavilion Bancorp of Adrian.

The Defiance firm, which operates the First Federal Bank of the Midwest and First Insurance & Investments, said its profit last year of 91 cents a share compared with $1.94 a share, or $13.9 million total, the year before. For the fourth quarter, the company had a profit of $880,000, or 9 cents a share, compared with $3.6 million, or 50 cents a share, for the same period in 2007.

The year of 2008 was an uphill battle and the hill definitely got steeper in the fourth quarter, William Small, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The firm said its provision for loan losses jumped to $3.8 million in the fourth quarter from $603,000 from the period a year earlier, and its nonperforming loans reached $34.3 million at the end of the year, compared with $25.5 million on Sept. 30. Total assets were $1.96 billion a year s end, up from $1.61 billion a year earlier.



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