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Lake City parent's quarterly earnings up 5%

Lakeland Financial Corp. today reported second-quarter earnings of $9.24 million, or 56 cents per diluted common share, a 5 percent increase from the $8.82 million, or 54 cents a share, posted for the same three months of last year.

The Warsaw-based holding company for Lake City Bank marked record six-month performance of $18.5 million for the first half of the year.

Increases were posted even after the company set aside $465,000 to offset future lower tax benefits resulting from a change in some state deferred tax items.

David Findlay, president and chief financial officer, pointed to the lending side of the ledger when talking about the company’s performance.

“Total loan growth of $72 million during the quarter is the highest quarterly loan growth since the fourth quarter of 2008,” he said in a statement. “The loan growth was geographically and industry diverse, which we believe is indicative of both a strengthening Indiana economy and good market penetration by Lake City Bank.”

Because the economy and various borrowers are starting to thrive, Lakeland didn’t contribute this past quarter to its fund to cover bad loans. The company designated $500,000 for that fund in the second quarter of 2012. That one change more than pays for the $420,000 increase in the company’s quarterly profit.

Lakeland ended the quarter with $50.6 million in its reserves to cover defaulted loans, just 2 percent less than the balance reported for June 30, 2012.

sslater@jg.net

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