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Lakeland earnings up 10% to new record

Lakeland Financial Corp. last year bested its own record for annual earnings. The Warsaw-based parent company of Lake City Bank today reported 2013 earnings of $38.8 million, or $2.33 per diluted common share, a 10 percent increase from the $35.4 million, or $2.15 a share, posted for 2012.

Lakeland also reported record quarterly earnings of $10.6 million for the fourth quarter, or 63 cents per diluted common share, a 23 percent increase from the $8.6 million, or 52 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2012.

Michael Kubacki, chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the bank “experienced good loan growth in every market” it serves, including Indianapolis, where it opened a second office in January.

Lakeland’s earnings increased by $3.4 million during 2013.

The bank also stopped setting aside money to cover bad loans last year. In 2012, its provision for loan losses totaled $2.5 million. Company officials explained that economic conditions improved and fewer borrowers defaulted on loans in 2013, making Lakeland’s existing reserves adequate.

sslater@jg.net

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