WESTERLY, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 2005--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, 2004. Approximately 200 shareholders and guests attended
the Meeting at the Westerly Public Library.
"Washington Trust had an exceptional year in 2004," stated John C.
Warren, Washington Trust's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He
added, "We had double-digit growth in our major lines of business.
Total loans rose by 30 percent, including a 24 percent in commercial
loans and a 40 percent increase in consumer loans. We also had solid
deposit growth, with total deposits up 21 percent in 2004. In
addition, trust and investment management revenues increased 21
percent from year-end 2003."
David V. Devault, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief
Financial Officer, discussed the Corporation's 2004 financial results
and first quarter 2005 performance. He stated, "First quarter 2005 net
income amounted to $5.4 million, a 9% increase from the same quarter
in 2004. Earnings per share, on a diluted basis, amounted to 40 cents
per share." Devault added, "We increased the dividend for the
thirteenth consecutive year and continued to maintain excellent asset
At the Meeting, Warren also commented on Washington Trust's March
21, 2005 announcement that the Corporation had signed a definitive
agreement to acquire Weston Financial Group, a $1.2 billion high net
worth investment advisor located in Wellesley, Mass. "In our efforts
to grow the Corporation and sustain continued earnings improvement,
Washington Trust has made several strategic acquisitions over the past
6 years, including: Pier Bank, Inc. in 1999; Phoenix Investment
Management in 2000; First Financial Corp. in 2002; and now Weston
Financial in 2005." Adding, "This acquisition provides excellent
opportunities for growth in the wealth management area." Washington
Trust expects the Weston Financial acquisition to be completed in the
third quarter of 2005, after regulatory approvals are received.
During the business portion of the Meeting, Gary P. Bennett, Larry
J. Hirsch, Mary E. Kennard, H. Douglas Randall III, and John F.
Treanor were elected to the Corporation's Board of Directors for terms
ending in 2008. In other business, shareholders ratified the selection
of KPMG LLP as independent auditors for the Corporation for the
current fiscal year ending December 31, 2005.
The audio and slide portions of the Annual Meeting are available
on Washington Trust's website, http://investorrelations.washtrust.com.
Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. is the parent of The Washington
Trust Company, the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode
Island. Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is a Rhode Island
state-chartered bank offering 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: www.washtrust.com.
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
Elizabeth B. Eckel
Senior Vice President, Marketing
SOURCE: Washington Trust