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Center Bancorp, Inc.Announces Fourth Quarter Report


Center Bancorp, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter Net Income
   Available to Common Shareholders of $4.4 Million or $0.27 Per
       Share and Full Year 2012 Earnings Available to Common
         Shareholders of $17.2 Million or $1.05 Per Share

UNION, N.J., Jan. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Center Bancorp, Inc.
(Nasdaq:CNBC) (the "Corporation", or "Center"), parent company of Union
Center National Bank ("UCNB" or the "Bank"), today reported operating
results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012. Net income
available to common stockholders amounted to $4.4 million, or $0.27 per
fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, as
compared with net income available to common stockholders of $3.2
million, or $0.20 per fully diluted common share, for the quarter ended
December 31, 2011.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, net income available to
common stockholders amounted to $17.2 million, or $1.05 per fully
diluted common share, compared to $13.1 million, or $0.80 per fully
diluted common share, for the same period in 2011.

"Our fourth quarter operating performance remained strong and was
characterized by solid revenue growth, positive organic loan generation
and a continuation of our stable and favorable asset quality profile.
We continue to move forward with momentum in expanding our presence in
key markets. With the opening of our Englewood office we are working to
solidify and expand the service relationship with our new customers and
remain excited by the potential to create incremental shareholder value
from our strategic growth. We believe that this type of sequential
earnings performance demonstrates the Corporation's commitment to
achieving meaningful growth in earnings performance -- an essential
component of providing consistent and favorable long-term returns to
our shareholders," said Anthony C. Weagley, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Union Center National Bank.

                  Highlights for the quarter include:

  --  Strong balance sheet with improved credit trends compared to prior year.

  --  At December 31, 2012, total loans amounted to $889.7 million, an
      increase of $134.7 million compared to total loans at December 31,

  --  Noninterest expense decreased $29,000, or 0.47 percent, for the three
      months ended December 31, 2012 compared to the quarter ended December
      31, 2011

  --  Reduction in non-performing assets, to 0.31 percent of total assets at
      December 31, 2012, compared to 0.34 percent at September 30, 2012 and
      0.59 percent at December 31, 2011. The allowance for loan losses as a
      percentage of total non-performing loans was 278.9 percent at December
      31, 2012 compared to 184.9 percent at September 30, 2012 and 121.5
      percent at December 31, 2011.

  --  The Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.02 percent at December 31, 2012,
      compared to 8.96 percent at September 30, 2012, and 9.29 percent at
      December 31, 2011, exceeding regulatory guidelines in all periods.

  --  Tangible book value per common share rose to $8.11 at December 31, 2012,
      compared to $6.60 at December 31, 2011 and $7.90 at September 30,

  --  The efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2012 on an annualized
      basis was 46.9 percent as compared to 53.7 percent in the fourth quarter
      of 2011 and 47.7 percent in the third quarter of 2012.

  --  Deposits increased $185.5 million to $1.3 billion at December 31, 2012,
      from $1.1 billion at December 31, 2011 in part as a result of the Saddle
      River Valley Bank transaction.

About Center Bancorp

Center Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, which operates Union
Center National Bank, its main subsidiary. Chartered in 1923, Union
Center National Bank is one of the oldest national banks headquartered
in the state of New Jersey and now ranks as the third largest national
bank headquartered in the state. Union Center National Bank is
currently the largest commercial bank headquartered in Union County.
Its primary market niche is its commercial banking business. The Bank
focuses its lending activities on commercial lending to small and
medium-sized businesses, real estate developers and high net worth

The Bank, through its Private Banking and Wealth Management Division,
which includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Financial Group LLC,
provides personalized wealth management and advisory services to high
net worth individuals and families. Our services include banking,
liquidity management, investment services, custody, tailored lending,
wealth planning, trust and fiduciary services, insurance, family wealth
advisory services and philanthropic advisory services. The Bank through
a strategic partnership between the Bank's Private Banking Division and
Alexander, Troy & Company ("AT&CO."), Family Office Services, of
Katonah, New York, provides customized financial and administrative
services to high-net worth individuals.

Center, through a strategic partnership with Compass Financial
Management, LLC and ING, offers pension/401(k) planning services.
Compass is an Investment Advisory Company with five decades of
cumulative experience providing investment services in a personal,
professional and attentive manner. They provide discretionary private
investment management for individuals and corporate accounts as well as
401(k) advisory services.

The Bank currently operates 15 banking locations in Union, Morris and
Bergen Counties in New Jersey. Banking centers are located in Union
Township (5 locations), Berkeley Heights, Boonton/Mountain Lakes,
Madison, Millburn/Vauxhall, Morristown, Oakland, Saddle River,
Springfield, and Summit, New Jersey. The Bank's primary market area is
comprised of Union, Morris and Bergen Counties, New Jersey. Also, the
Corporation opened the new Englewood banking center, located in
downtown Englewood, NJ, in December.

For further information regarding Center Bancorp, Inc., please visit
our web site at or call (800) 862-3683.
For information regarding Union Center National Bank, please visit our
web site at

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