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Lakeland ’13 earnings set record

Lakeland Financial Corp. last year bested its own record for annual earnings. The Warsaw-based parent company of Lake City Bank on Monday reported 2013 earnings of $38.8 million, or $2.33 per diluted common share, a 10 percent increase over 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 over 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.

Steel Dynamics sees 2013 earnings rise 13%

Steel Dynamics Inc. on Monday announced total earnings in 2013 of $189 million, or 83 cents per diluted share – an earnings increase of 13 percent from the previous year.

In 2012, the Fort Wayne company recorded earnings of $164 million, or 73 cents per diluted share. The business reported fourth quarter earnings of $55 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, compared to $61 million, or 27 cents per diluted share in 2012.

“We continued to perform at the top of our industry during 2013, both financially and operationally,” CEO Mark D. Millett said in a statement. “Annual 2013 pretax income improved 29 percent as a result of our recent capital structure initiatives. Our steel operations achieved record annual shipments, with the Flat Roll and Structural and Rail divisions attaining individual records.”

Company to expand in $1.25 million project

Pyromation Inc. is investing $1.25 million to expand and renovate its office, a project to be completed by September. The space will allow the Fort Wayne company to hire five to 10 new employees within the next year, officials announced Monday.

The company sells temperature sensors to customers worldwide in industries including chemical, pharmaceutical, aerospace, food, rubber and metal processing. The new jobs will include sales engineer and quality technician positions.

One Eleven Design developed the new office layout and design, and Weigand Construction is doing the renovation work.

Pyromation in 2012 completed a $4 million investment that included new equipment and construction of a 15,000-square-foot expansion to its plant, 5211 Industrial Road.

GM commits to German auto plant

New General Motors chief Mary Barra stressed on Monday the company’s support for its struggling Opel subsidiary in Europe, saying its workers will get the job of building a new vehicle at the main plant in Germany.

“I thought it was very important to reinforce in person my commitment and GM’s commitment to Opel,” she said during a brief appearance before journalists.