Lakeland Financial in Warsaw, Ind., rode double-digit loan growth and credit-quality improvements to an 18% increase in profits.

The $3.4 billion-asset company reported net income of $11.5 million in the third quarter, and diluted income per common share was $0.69, slightly below the $0.694 average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Loans rose 13% from a year earlier, to $2.7 billion, on gains in several commercial lending categories. Net interest income grew a corresponding 13%, to just under $26 million. Net interest margin rose two basis points, to 3.31%.

Lakeland shrank its nonperforming assets by 36%, to $15 million. It recorded no provisions for losses.

Noninterest income stayed level with last year’s third quarter at $7.8 million. Noninterest expense also stayed fairly steady, too, increasing only $400,000, primarily on employee costs.

Lakeland is the holding company of Lake City Bank. The company plans to expand in the Indianapolis metro area, announcing earlier this month that it plans to open three new branches there over the next fifteen months.

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