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First Niagara Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2012 Results

Fourth Quarter Highlights:
  • Non-GAAP Operating Income of $0.19 per Share, Consistent with the Prior Quarter
  • GAAP EPS of $0.15 including CMO premium adjustment ($0.03) and restructuring charges ($0.01)
  • Business Trends Continue to be Very Strong
  • 12 th consecutive quarter of double digit commercial loan growth
  • Interest-bearing checking balances up 32%
  • Mortgage originations increase 12% to an all-time high
  • Wealth Management fees increase 8%
  • Capital Markets revenue up 11%
  • Net Interest Income Stable, Excluding Impacts of Additional CMO Premium Amortization
  • 13% increase in average interest earning assets
  • Loan yields decline 8 basis points; deposit rates down 3 basis points

BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:FNFG) today announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results that reflect strong core business fundamentals and core customer acquisition across the company's regional banking footprint. Solid operating performance continues to be driven by sustained market share gains through new customer acquisition as well as deepening relationships with existing customers.

"We finished 2012 with our team and franchise in a very solid and stable position – and most importantly, focused on optimizing our performance and results in 2013," said John R. Koelmel, First Niagara President and Chief Executive Officer. "The fundamentals of our business continue to improve as we more fully leverage the expanded capacities and competencies we now have, which has created very positive momentum as we start the new year. And while the impact of our CMO portfolio on fourth quarter results is disappointing, it doesn't at all diminish the consistent core operating performance we have again produced.

"As we look ahead to the next twelve months, our focus is to (1) better position our balance sheet by continuing the strong growth performance of our commercial and consumer lending teams; (2) ensure we do that while maintaining best in class credit outcomes; (3) deepen relationships across all business lines to improve the performance of our fee based businesses and services; and, (4) be more operationally effective and efficient by controlling costs and doing more with what we have already invested," continued Mr. Koelmel. "As I have consistently stated, running our business a little bit better each and every day is what we are about in 2013."

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