Westcorp Posts 47% Climb in 2nd Quarter Net

Westcorp, holding company for Western Financial Savings Bank in Orange, posted second quarter net income of $2.8 million, up 47.4% from $1.9 million. Net income for the first six months shot up 58.3% to $5.7 million from $3.6 million.

The savings bank, which represents nearly all of the company's assets, liabilities and earnings, received $52 million in capital after Westcorp went public May 2 with the sale of 5.1 million shares at $11 a share. Two months before going public, the company had changed its name from Western Thrift Financial Corp.

Net proceeds of the offering were dumped into the savings and loan to bolster future expansion, said Stephen W. Prough, the S&L;'s president and chief executive.

Prough said the company has no plans to acquire any existing S&L; at this time, but he would not rule out the possibility in the future.

Even without the infusion of capital, he said, federal regulators had approved Western Financial's plans to increase its assets by 40% this year. Approval, often hard to get, must be obtained whenever an S&L; grows by 25% or more. Last year, the S&L; had approval to grow by 47%.

As of June 30, the company's assets had grown 36.3% to $760.6 million from $558.2 million a year earlier.

Western Financial, created in the 1982 merger of an S&L; and a thrift and loan, differs from most S&Ls; in that its income is derived as much from consumer loans, primarily automobile financing, as from real estate loans.

New real estate loans originated in the second quarter, for instance, nearly tripled to $91.6 million from $33.2 million in the same quarter last year, while new consumer loans rose 24.6% to $94.8 million from $76.1 million.

As of June 30, the savings bank's net loans totaled $699.6 million, a 43.5% increase over the $487.4 million a year ago. Total deposits rose 4% to $513.5 million from $493.6 million.

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