Westfield Financial Reports Q1 Results
WESTFIELD — Westfield Financial Inc., the holding company for Westfield Bank, reported net income of $1.3 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to $1.6 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. Selected financial highlights for first quarter 2015 include:
• Total loans increased $82.2 million, or 12.7%, to $730.4 million at March 31, 2015 compared to $648.2 million at March 31, 2014. This was primarily due to increases in residential loans of $38.9 million, commercial and industrial loans of $29.8 million, and commercial real-estate loans of $13.0 million. On a sequential-quarter basis, total loans increased $5.7 million, or 0.8%, from $724.7 million at Dec. 31, 2014. This was due to an increase in commercial real-estate loans of $8.7 million, offset by a decrease in commercial and industrial loans of $2.8 million, primarily due to normal loan payoffs and paydowns.
• Securities declined $26.3 million, or 4.9%, to $515.2 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $541.5 million at March 31, 2014. On a sequential-quarter basis, securities increased by $6.4 million, or 1.3%, at March 31, 2015, compared to $508.8 million at Dec. 31, 2014.
• Net interest and dividend income decreased $65,000 to $7.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 compared to $7.7 million for the comparable 2014 period. On a sequential-quarter basis, net interest and dividend income decreased $288,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014. The fourth quarter 2014 included $88,000 in deferred fee income recognized upon the payoff of a relationship.
• The bank prepaid a repurchase agreement in the amount of $10.0 million with a rate of 2.65% and incurred a pre-payment expense of $593,000 for the first quarter 2015 in order to eliminate a higher-cost liability.
• Non-interest expense was $6.7 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 and $6.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. On a sequential-quarter basis, non-interest expense increased by $215,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to $6.5 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014. The increase on a sequential-quarter basis was due in part to an increase in salaries and benefits of $178,000. Of this amount, $51,000 is attributable to salary-related taxes, which are typically higher in the first quarter of each year.
“During the first quarter, harsh winter weather slowed economic activity, and therefore loan demand, particularly commercial construction projects,” said Westfield Bank President and CEO James Hagan. “We continue to cultivate new and existing customer relationships in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut, and our outlook for growth remains positive for 2015. We have an experienced, disciplined, regional leadership team prepared to take advantage of continued opportunities for organic growth and expansion into demographically attractive markets.” Hagan continued, “the customer response to our strategic initiatives has been very positive. Our Enfield branch, which opened in November 2014, and our Granby branch, which opened in June 2013, have combined deposits of over $23.0 million. We currently have both a commercial lender and a residential lender based in the Connecticut market, and we anticipate adding another commercial lender in 2015. In addition, we relocated a commercial-loan team to downtown Springfield in 2014, which provides proximity to the I-91 corridor and better access to the borrowers and centers of influence in the Greater Springfield area and Northern Connecticut. We have taken action to strategically expand our market reach, and while this initially has increased non-interest expense, we feel this will create opportunities to grow our franchise and generate higher revenue.”
Marcotte Ford Breaks Ground on Truck Center
HOLYOKE — Marcotte Ford will celebrate the groundbreaking of its new commercial truck-repair facility on Monday, May 11 at 11 a.m. Marcotte Ford acquired the property at 933 Main St. in the fall of 2014 and will construct a 16-bay, state-of-the-art truck-repair facility to accommodate the service and repair of all light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks. This project will add six to 10 new jobs in Holyoke. “We believe in the Ford tradition of quality and service and want to deliver the best in product and service to our customers,” said Michael Marcotte, president of Marcotte Ford Sales. “We feel that this is an ideal time for a new commercial repair facility in light of the strong business momentum in the industry.” Marcotte Ford a third-generation Ford franchise that gives back to the local community through involvement with the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club, Kate’s Kitchen, and Margaret’s Pantry, as well as the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce. The new commercial building is located adjacent to Marcotte Ford at 933 Main St. and is scheduled to open this fall.
Holyoke Merry-Go-Round Launches New Website
HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, the region’s prized carousel with a storied history that dates back to the early 1900s, announced the launch of a new website, holyokemerrygoround.org. Site upgrades include a new layout with enhancements for secure payments, easy-to-use forms and downloadable contracts, plus updated historical and photo pages to relive the magic, and more. “Today, more and more people turn to their mobile devices to search the Internet. We wanted a website that would provide them the best, most secure web experience on any device,” said Angela Wright, executive director. “This new site includes easy access to our party and private rental, reservation, donation, and events pages; online store; and forms, all on an easy-to-navigate platform.” The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round is located in Holyoke’s Heritage State Park, which is managed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. The carousel includes 48 horses hand-carved by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co., 56 original scenic panels, 864 brightly colored lights, and 98 beveled mirrors. Through the merry-go-round’s new website, users are able to book birthday or private parties and can share their own memories of the carousel’s history from Mountain Park to today. Additionally, secure payment options are available for the merry-go-round’s online store and donation pages. “As a nonprofit organization, we rely heavily on the generosity of the public, many of whom prefer to donate quickly and easily through our website,” Wright said. “With secure payments using PayPal, our supporters can make their tax-deductible donation online with peace of mind.”
Adam Quenneville Roofing, Siding & Windows Earns Top Honor
SOUTH HADLEY — Adam Quenneville Roofing, Siding & Windows announced that GAF, North America’s largest roofing-materials manufacturer, recently recognized the company with a prestigious 2015 Presidents Club Award for high-quality workmanship, safety, training, and reliability. Quenneville was one of five North American contractors to receive this award. GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, developed the Presidents Club Award for Master Elite contractors who excel in workmanship, service, and responsiveness. Adam Quenneville Roofing has been recognized for its long-standing support of GAF products, success in offering homeowners peace of mind in GAF warranties, and attention to detail in all GAF roofing systems. “Some people might think, after owning a business for 20 years, that the passion would dwindle,” Quenneville said. “I feel just the opposite. I am more excited than ever to help area homeowners with their roofing concerns. Having this many years of experience, I can offer unique solutions and recommendations.” He added, “I would like to take a moment and thank my team. I couldn’t have achieved this award or any of the success over the last two decades without them.” For more information about Adam Quennville Roofing, Siding & Windows, visit 1800newroof.net.
AIC Breaks Ground for New Dining Commons
SPRINGFIELD — After a winter for the record books, American International College (AIC) recently celebrated spring and the future of dining in style with a groundbreaking ceremony in anticipation of the college’s $8 million renovation to its dining commons. The new, state-of-the-art facility will expand upon the existing dining-commons space and include a wider variety of seating along with a more abundant variety of food options and services, including customized food preparation, an open-concept kitchen complete with a Mongolian grill, a wood-fired pizza oven, and more, all presented in a contemporary, open setting. Guests and speakers at the event included AIC graduate U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (who also attended AIC), college board of trustee members, and AIC President Vincent Maniaci, who said, “the dining commons is the heart of social interaction between and among students, faculty, and staff. This new dining commons will greatly benefit our current students by providing a spectacular dining experience and meeting center for social engagement.” Compass Foodservice CEO Steve Sweeney donated $1,500 to the local food pantry on behalf of its subsidiary, Chartwells, the leading higher-education food-service company in the world and provider for AIC. Speaking on behalf of the 1,700 undergraduate students at AIC, Student Government Assoc. representative and sophomore Rebecca Gray said, “it’s long overdue, and we’re very much ready for the new programming space and the new dining facilities, and it’s going to be a lot more modern and a lot more comfortable. I am so excited. Being only in my second year, it is really nice to see the school making so much change.” While there was a cosmetic remodel of the dining room in 2007, the last complete renovation of the college’s dining commons was in 1966, nearly 50 years ago. Construction currently involves seven local Massachusetts companies working on the project. The project is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the fall semester.