An increase in interest income and drop in expenses lifted Old National Bancorp (ONB) in Evansville, Ind., last quarter.

Earnings at the $9.5 billion-asset company rose 10.2% from a year earlier, to $23.9 million, or 24 cents per share.

Old National's loan book grew 10.9% year over year, to $5.1 billion. Net interest income increased 6.4% from the first quarter of 2012, to $79 million. However, the net interest margin narrowed 16 basis points, to 4.04%.

Noninterest income fell 6.4% year over year, to $45.3 million. Noninterest expense declined 1.2% from a year earlier, to $90.1 million.

Old National's efficiency ratio improved 2.54 percentage points from the first quarter of 2012, to 68.34%.

Chargeoffs fell 68% from a year earlier, to $1.1 million, as credit quality improved.

In September, Old National bought Indiana Community Bancorp of Columbus after acquiring Integra Bank in Evansville from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Monroe Bancorp in Bloomington a year earlier.

Old National also is buying 24 branches in southern Michigan from Bank of America (BAC). The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

"Our continued focus on improving core net income, coupled with strategic acquisitions, has provided our shareholders with a good start to 2013," Bob Jones, Old National's chief executive, said in a press release.

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