JASPER, Ind., Feb. 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
German American Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:GABC) reported today that it had achieved 2010 net income at an all-time record level of $13.4 million, or $1.21 per share, a 10% increase over the Company's 2009 net income of $12.2 million, or $1.10 per share. The Company's return on average equity for 2010 was 11.18%, representing the 6 th consecutive year the Company has achieved a double-digit return.The record 2010 performance was driven by an improvement in the level of the Company's core operating results, derived from increased revenues in both net interest income and non-interest income. The Company's 2010 net interest income increased by $4.2 million while its non-interest income reflected a $1.1 million improvement from the levels reported in the prior year. The higher level of net interest income was the result of both an 8% increase in the level of the Company's average earning assets, and a widening of the Company's tax-equivalent net interest margin to 3.98% (up from 3.95% in 2009). The increased non-interest income was largely attributable to an approximately $400 thousand increase in the gain from the sale of secondary market residential mortgage loans, and a $500 thousand increase in gains on the sale of other real estate. Commenting on the Company's achievement of yet another record performance, Mark A. Schroeder, Chairman & CEO of German American, stated, "We are truly gratified that, in this our Company's 100 th anniversary year, we have been able to achieve this all-time record level of performance. In fact, the past three years have been the best three-year period in our history. This feat is truly remarkable in the face of the economic challenges our nation has faced during this period. The accomplishment of this achievement is due to the fiscal responsibility of our customers, the economic viability of the Southern Indiana communities we serve, and the commitment of our staff of dedicated financial professionals. We are extremely grateful to each of these important constituents for their contribution to our success." Schroeder continued, "We are pleased with our prospects for continued success not only within our legacy markets, but also in our newest market presence in the Evansville, Indiana market area. Effective January 1, 2011, we finalized our previously reported acquisition of the Bank of Evansville, and now have 5 banking offices located throughout the Evansville market. We are excited about the opportunities our entry into this new market area will afford us not only within banking but also relative to the expansion of our insurance and investment lines of business."