The owner of Southcoast Community Bank finished off a year of improved results with a fourth-quarter profit of $919,000.

Mount Pleasant-based Southcoast Financial Corp. said the gain compared to a loss of $4.8 million for the last three months of 2011. For all of 2012, the company reported net income of $3.52 million, compared to a loss of $16.48 million the previous year

CEO L. Wayne Pearson said the bank owner had to set aside less money to cover losses last year as bad loans and other so-called nonperforming assets fell by 39 percent from 2011.

Also helping the bottom line was that the bank was able to lower its interest payments on deposits and other liabilities, he said.

“We continue to be encouraged by the future direction of our company given our capital strength, the reduction in non-performing assets and our continued improvement in the net interest margin,” Pearson said in a written statement.