A Letter From The President:
I am pleased to announce that 2018 was a year of solid growth and financial strength for Columbia Financial, Inc. and Columbia Bank as we are quickly becoming
New Jersey’s preeminent bank.
On April 19, 2018, we became a publicly traded Company listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, under the symbol “CLBK”. Through our Initial Public Offering (IPO) the Company generated approximately $492.0 million in additional capital, which we intend to use to strategically grow the bank. Additionally, as a result of the contribution of common stock to the foundation as part of the IPO, the Columbia Bank Foundation has grown into the third largest private foundation in New Jersey with approximately $60.0 million in funding.
For the year ended December 31, 2018, we reported net income of $22.7 million, or $0.20 per basic and diluted share, compared to net income of $24.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease in earnings year over year is primarily driven by the $34.8 million one-time expense related to the contribution of shares of our common stock to the Columbia Bank Foundation in April 2018 in connection with our IPO. Excluding this charitable contribution and other non-core items, core net income would have been $50.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, an increase of $20.9 million, or 71.7% as compared to core net income for the same period in 2017.*
Our total assets increased $925.1 million, or 16.0%, to $6.7 billion at December 31, 2018 from $5.8 billion at December 31, 2017. The increase in total assets was primarily attributable to increases in both loans receivable, net, of $516.4 million and securities available for sale of $324.2 million. This growth was funded primarily by $492.4 million of net proceeds from the IPO and increases in borrowings and deposits.
Loans receivable, net, increased $516.4 million to $4.9 billion at December 31, 2018 from $4.4 billion at December 31, 2017. One-to-four family, multifamily and commercial real estate, construction loans and commercial business loans contributed to the growth by $215.2 million, $271.7 million, $27.8 million and $55.9 million, respectively.
In 2018, we opened two new branches in Livingston and Westfield, New Jersey, while we continued to redesign our existing branch network.
Our new look is built around highly interactive technology and flexible work spaces that will appeal to customers of all ages. Our goal is to combine a modern way of banking, with our legacy
of personalized service.
Complementing the extension of our branch network, residential mortgages are now available in New York and Pennsylvania, consistent with our plan to expand our footprint beyond New Jersey and build brand recognition in new markets.
As a leading provider of commercial banking services, we have grown our commercial lending team in all areas, including Commercial Real Estate and Commercial and Industrial lending. Asset quality remains a priority and strength of the portfolio. However, our expansion in business banking is not limited to commercial lending, as we have also upgraded our business banking systems to provide our business customers with an enhanced and highly-efficient customer experience.
The additions to our branch network, the expansion of our lending teams, and our continuous investments in technology are all designed to ensure that Columbia Bank continues to provide to its customers the personal touch that we have provided over all these years.
Although staying connected to our customers is a top priority, staying connected to the communities we serve has remained equally important. The Columbia Bank Foundation has grown to become one of the largest private foundations in the state. Last year we granted more than $2 million in community donations and had almost 100% employee participation in volunteer events.
We enter 2019 strategically positioned to maximize the Company’s opportunities and grow the long-term value of our stock. We will continue to expand our retail network, increase our market share, and grow our commercial loan portfolio. We will also continue to invest heavily in our talent and training curriculums to ensure our employees are equipped with the tools to deliver the service you expect. These efforts will be supported by new branches including the recent opening of our 50th branch in Newark, New Jersey, expanding our lending practices beyond New Jersey, adding to our commercial lending team, continued facility upgrades, new innovative products, and investments in emerging technology.
Our Board of Directors, Executive Management, and the Columbia Bank staff would like to thank you for your continued support in our journey of becoming a public company and New Jersey’s preeminent bank.
Thomas J. Kemly
President and CEO
* Core net income is a non-GAAP financial measure equal to net income after giving effect to (i) the contribution to the charitable foundation, net of tax benefit and (ii) certain losses (gains) on sales of securities, net of tax. For more information on the supplemental non-GAAP information that we use in our analysis of our financial results, as well as a reconciliation of those numbers to corresponding GAAP financial measures, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.