RIVERSIDE, Calif. (1/27/12)--Altura CU, with $642 million in assets, Riverside, Calif., on Wednesday reported net income of $8.43 million for 2011--a substantial improvement over 2010, when the credit union reported a loss of $5.8 million.
For the fourth quarter, Altura reported net income of $3.53 million, continuing a trend of improvement, said the credit union.
"Our net income for the most recent quarter marks the third straight period of strong net income," said Mark Hawkins, Altura CU CEO. "After the economic turmoil of the past few years, 2011 was our best year since 2006. Although we continued to deal with a difficult economy, 2011 was the year in which we finally saw the marketplace begin to firm up. Unemployment is settling down, and foreclosures and delinquencies have eased substantially."
Altura ended 2011 with a net worth ratio of 7.84%, an improvement of more than 200 basis points over its year-end 2010 net worth ratio of 5.81%.
It also reported $642.9 million in total assets, compared with total assets of $721.6 million in 2010.
Following multiple branch closures in early 2011, Altura membership grew during the fourth quarter to 95,990 members.
A subtle improvement in the local economy allowed Altura to reduce its set-asides for loan losses. Altura ended 2010 with $35.6 million in its allowance for loan and lease losses. For year-end 2011, Altura reduced its allowance balance to $30.8 million.
This trend is consistent with credit unions across the country, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Credit unions are reporting bottom-line improvements as credit quality has improved, reductions have been realized in loan loss provisions, and operating expenses have been slashed.
"Over the past few years, Altura has had to adapt to a radically different marketplace," said Hawkins. "And, we had to do so while continuing to focus on the needs of our members. Thankfully we were able to remain focused on delivering core services to our membership, while examining other areas where we could reduce costs. These decisions were not easy, such as closing branch locations and reducing member convenience. Now, we are seeing the results of those decisions."