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AgSouth reports earnings of $33.3 million

Posted: March 20, 2012 10:23 a.m.
Updated: March 21, 2012 5:00 a.m.

AgSouth Farm Credit CEO Bill Spigener recently announced that the customer-owned cooperative had net earnings of $33.3 million during 2011.

While this is less than the association’s record earnings of $35.9 million for 2010, Spigener said, “AgSouth added significantly more to our loan loss allowance as the economy continues to struggle.”

 “Earnings continued to be good as we have been able to reduce our borrowing costs, and the majority of our customers had another successful year,” said Spigener. “Another factor contributing to AgSouth’s earnings was a reduction in overall operating expenses as we work to control costs.”

Spigener also said the association is on track to pay a significant patronage distribution to its member/borrowers this month.

“The 2011 patronage distribution equates to approximately 25 cents on every dollar of interest paid. It effectively reduces the cost of borrowing for our customer base,” he said.

CFO Alisa D. Gunter said the association remains financially strong, and credit is available for farmers, agribusiness, landowners and other qualified borrowers.

“AgSouth is dedicated to becoming the lender of choice for eligible borrowers in our territory, and we just celebrated our 95th year of making loans to rural Georgia and South Carolina,” she said.

As a cooperative, AgSouth provides patronage refunds, a form of profit sharing, to its member-borrowers. Since 1991, the association has returned nearly $296 million in cash to its borrowers. As of December 31, 2011, AgSouth had more than 7,460 members, $1.6 billion in assets and $253 million in capital and allocated accounts.

AgSouth Farm Credit provides loans for land, equipment and production agriculture; crop insurance; leasing; and home mortgages. The association is headquartered in Statesboro, Ga., with administrative offices in Spartanburg and Orangeburg. The cooperative’s 26 branches serve 59 Georgia and 34 South Carolina counties including Kershaw with an office in Lugoff.

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