To Our Shareholders | CNext - Century Next Bank | Lincoln | Ouachita | Ashley County

Investor Relations
To Our Shareholders

To Our Shareholders:

As we entered 2023, our expectations were focused intently on certain key goals. These goals included 1) building on growth opportunities, 2) continuing to expand and deepen our customer base, 3) investing in our communities, and 4) increasing shareholder value.

Our team efforts toward the achievement of these goals resulted in the most financially successful year in the history of our Company.

Building on Growth Opportunities

Assets increased by 19.0% including growth in cash and cash equivalents, investment securities, and loans. Deposits increased by 21.4%, and net income was up 29.3%.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, net income was $6.75 million compared to $5.22 million in 2022. Earnings per share were $3.77 basic and diluted compared to $2.94 basic and diluted in 2022.

Our net interest income improved in 2023 by 13.9% or $3.1 million over 2022 as the rise in interest rates steadied in mid-2023. Non-interest income declined by 8.9% or $324,000 as mortgage activity continued to slow in 2023 with higher rates. Non-interest expense (NIE) increased 8.1% or $1.48 million, but NIE efficiency ratio measuring NIE to total income improved from to 69.6% in 2023 from 71.2% in 2022.

Continuing to Expand and Deepen Our Customer Base

In Louisiana, our customer base in Lincoln and Ouachita Parishes and the surrounding areas expanded with loans growing by 11.4% or $48.6 million and deposits growing by 29.8% or $121.3 million. The robust deposit growth increased our liquidity position and helped to reduce our dependence on noncore funding down to just 1.28% of total deposits or $6.76 million.

In Arkansas, loans increased by $893,000 or 0.8% and deposits declined by 1.6% or $2.5 million. Although deposit rates increased due to the higher interest rate environment, most of the decrease in deposits was from normal customer activity. The Arkansas market continues to maintain a strong deposit base.

Investing in Our Communities

Century Next Bank, our subsidiary bank, continues the trend of community involvement through our community partners in North Central Louisiana and Southeast Arkansas. Enhancing the quality of life through these partnerships is of great importance to our directors, leadership and staff.

We enter 2024 with a strong sense of responsibility to our communities and doing our part to help enhance a strong economic environment. We will continue to provide quality banking services to both business and personal customers.

Increasing Shareholder Value

The financial strength we experienced in the latter half of 2023 has provided a strong base as we start 2024 and will allow us to build on synergies in motion to provide the opportunity for strong results once again. We will continue to focus on the key drivers as mentioned above to strengthen our position both financially and strategically with the anticipation of providing a healthy return
for shareholders.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you, our shareholders, and for supporting us as we look for
more opportunities to build and strengthen our growing regional presence in the year ahead.

bill hogan signature
William D. Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer
Century Next Financial Corporation

View the 2023 Annual Report