To Our Shareholders, Customers, and Friends:
The year 2014 has been a busy one for the Bank. We are pleased to report another good year, as you will see in the comparative data for the years 2013 and 2014, audited by Crowe Horwath LLP.
Total Bank assets at year’s end were $284,828,550.00. The asset size of the Bank was consistent throughout the year. Loans at year’s end increased $14,000,000.00, concluding the year at $187,501,728.00. The net income for 2014 was $2,697,363.00. This is a decrease from 2013, mainly due to a larger provision for loan losses. The Bank remains one of the most capitalized in the area among our peers. Shareholder equity at year’s end was $45,428,053 on $283.90 book value per share.
Corn and soybean yields were at record levels this past growing season. The yields were high and consistent throughout all of Southern Illinois. However, large yields nationwide caused corn and soybean prices to plummet. The price of corn fell to under $3.00, and soybeans were less than $9.00 during the fall. Prices have improved since the low this fall but remain at levels where profitability is questionable for 2015.
The oil industry also had a turbulent 2014. The year started with good prices and the hope that the State of Illinois would ease some regulations that inhibit drilling. With the November state elections in Illinois, regulations were improved, but oil prices have declined to a five-year low. Most of our oil producers are being very cautious in their plans for 2015.
Manufacturing jobs are still available, and our largest employer, FRAM, continues to advertise for new workers. The unemployment rate for Edwards County has fallen to 6.2%.
This past year resulted in the retirement of three employees. Martha Speir retired as a Vice President in January after forty-three years of service. Staretta Garner and Gayla Hargrave retired in March. Star had been employed with us for over 25 years at Albion, and Gayla was an important member of our Crossville team. We wish all three of them a happy retirement. Carolyn Shultz reached her 40th year of employment with the Bank. Marilyn Wolfe also completed her 70th year of being associated with the Bank, as she became a temporary employee in 1944 and now serves as our Chairperson of the Board of Directors. We appreciate the continued service of Carolyn and Marilyn.
In October, we announced our intent to acquire the assets and liabilities of the Bank of Lawrence County. This has been a big project and has required extra work on the part of many employees. The facilities located in Bridgeport and Lawrenceville will become part of Citizens National Bank of Albion in mid-April and will allow us to expand into Lawrence County. We thank the Directors of the Bank of Lawrence County for their willingness to work with us. We also welcome the twelve employees who will be joining Citizens National Bank of Albion.
We look forward to 2015 and the 75th Anniversary of the Bank. Many activities are planned for this August. Please mark your calendars for the Citizens National Bank of Albion’s 75th Anniversary open house on August 2, 2015. We thank you for your ongoing support.
Jan D. Ridgely
President & CEO