WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2004--Washington Trust
Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: WASH), parent of The Washington Trust Company,
today held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders for the year ended
December 31, 2003. Approximately 200 shareholders and guests attended
the Meeting at the Westerly Public Library.
"Washington Trust performed exceptionally well in 2003," stated
John C. Warren, Washington Trust's Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer. He added, "We posted solid returns for our shareholders and
saw the market value of our common stock increase 34% in 2003. We had
good loan growth, including record mortgage volume, terrific home
equity line growth, and solid new commercial loan business. Our trust
and asset management area also had a good year, with assets under
management increasing to $1.74 billion."
David V. Devault, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief
Financial Officer, discussed the Corporation's 2003 financial results
and first quarter 2004 performance. He stated, "First quarter 2004 net
income amounted to $5 million, up 4 percent over net income reported
for the first quarter of 2003." Devault added, "We increased the
dividend for the twelfth consecutive year and continued to maintain
excellent asset quality."
At the Meeting, special recognition was paid to Louis J. Luzzi,
Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending, who is retiring this week
after a 44-year career with Washington Trust. Mr. Luzzi, a resident of
Westerly, R.I., began his career with Washington Trust in 1960. Over
the years he held many positions in the Bank, including serving as the
first Branch Manager of Washington Trust's office located at 126
Franklin Street in Westerly. From there, he moved into the Commercial
Lending department, where he achieved great success. "When we talk
about the 'special spirit' of Washington Trust employees, there's no
better example than Lou," Warren said.
During the business portion of the Meeting, Barry G. Hittner,
Katherine W. Hoxsie, Edward M. Mazze, Kathleen McKeough, Joyce O.
Resnikoff, and John C. Warren were elected to the Corporation's Board
of Directors for terms ending in 2007. In other business, shareholders
ratified the selection of KPMG LLP as independent auditors for the
Corporation for the current fiscal year ending December 31, 2004.
Warren closed the Annual Meeting with a presentation on Washington
Trust's new "Make it Happen" branding campaign. "Washington Trust is
the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island," he said.
"We are also a community bank, which gives us a real opportunity to
expand in the Ocean State." He continued, "No matter what your
financial goals or dreams may be, Washington Trust has the right
products, the right services, and the right attitude to "Make it
The audio and powerpoint portions of the Annual Meeting will be
available on the Washington Trust website,
http://investorrelations.washtrust.com, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent of The Washington
Trust Company, a Rhode Island state-chartered bank founded in 1800.
The Bank offers a full range of financial services, including trust
and investment management, through its offices in Rhode Island and
southeastern Connecticut. Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.'s common
stock trades on The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) under the symbol: WASH.
Investor information is available on the Corporation's web site:
This report contains certain statements that may be considered
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The Corporation's actual results,
performance or achievements could differ materially from those
projected in the forward-looking statements as a result, among other
factors, of changes in general national or regional economic
conditions, changes in interest rates, reductions in the market value
of trust and investment assets under management, reductions in loan
demand, reductions in deposit levels necessitating increased borrowing
to fund loans and investments, changes in loan default and charge-off
rates, changes in the size and nature of the Corporation's
competition, changes in legislation or regulation and accounting
principles, policies and guidelines and changes in the assumptions
used in making such forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.
Elizabeth B. Eckel, 401-348-1309
SOURCE: Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc.