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NBT Bancorp Inc. Announces 2012 Diluted Earnings Per Share Of $1.62 And Organic Loan Growth Of 6.8%; Declares Cash Dividend

Noninterest income for the three months ended December 31, 2012 was $22.0 million, up 9.1% or $1.8 million, compared with $20.1 million for the same period in 2011. Retirement plan administration fees increased approximately $0.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to the three months ended December 31, 2011, due primarily to an increase in customer base. Insurance and other financial services revenue increased approximately $0.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to the three months ended December 31, 2011. This increase was due primarily to organic growth in commercial product lines. Other noninterest income increased approximately $1.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 as compared to the three months ended December 31, 2011.  This increase was due primarily to an increase in mortgage banking income of approximately $0.6 million, resulting from an increase in mortgage sales activity and more favorable gains during the three months ended December 31, 2012 as compared with the three months ended December 31, 2011. The Company also experienced an increase in loan fee income during the fourth quarter of 2012 which contributed to the increase in other noninterest income. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in service charges on deposit accounts of approximately $0.7 million, or 13.3%, for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared with the same period in 2011 primarily due to the aforementioned decrease in overdraft fee income.

Noninterest Expense and Income Tax Expense

Noninterest expense for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $193.9 million, up $13.2 million or 7.3%, for the same period in 2011. Salaries and employee benefits increased $5.6 million, or 5.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared with the same period in 2011. This increase was due primarily to increases in full-time-equivalent employees from acquisitions, merit increases, and increased pension expense.  Professional fees and outside services increased $1.5 million, or 17.3%, for the year ended December 31, 2012 as compared to 2011.  Data processing, communications, and occupancy expenses increased approximately $2.2 million collectively, or 7.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2012 as compared to 2011, due primarily to increased activity from recent expansion into new markets. The Company incurred approximately $2.6 million in merger related expenses for the year ended December 31, 2012, as compared to $0.8 million for the same period in 2011. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") expenses of approximately $0.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2011. This decrease was due to the FDIC redefining the deposit insurance assessment base effective the second quarter of 2011.  In addition, advertising expenses were down approximately $0.6 in 2012 as compared with 2011 due in large part to expense reduction initiatives. Income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $22.8 million, up from $21.3 million for the same period in 2011.  The effective tax rate was 29.5% for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to 26.9% for the same period in 2011. The relatively low effective tax rate in 2011 was driven primarily by a reduction in tax expense as a result of the settlement of a New York State tax audit during the fourth quarter of 2011.

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