JASPER, Ind., Jan. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- German American Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:GABC) reported record earnings for the year ended on December 31, 2012. This continued level of strong financial performance in 2012 follows upon a period of exceptional performance during the past five years, as the period of 2008-2012 represents the best five years in the Company's history in terms of reported annual earnings. The Company's return on average shareholder equity of 13.57% in 2012 also was a record, and represents the 8 th consecutive year that German American has delivered double-digit returns on shareholders' equity.
The Company's 2012 net income of $24.1 million, or $1.90 per share, was an increase of 18%, on a per share basis, over its previous record annual net income of $20.2 million, or $1.61 per share reported in 2011, and represented a 57% increase, on a per share basis, from the $13.4 million, or $1.21 per share, record earnings the Company reported in 2010. Fourth quarter earnings were $6.2 million, or $0.49 per share, an increase of approximately 11% from 2011 fourth quarter results of $5.6 million, or $0.44 per share.
This 2012 record performance was attributable to both an increased level of net interest income, driven by a higher level of earning assets within both the Company's loan portfolio and securities portfolio, and a reduced level of provision for loan loss, as the Company's historic level of strong asset quality improved even further in 2012.The Company also announced an increase in the level of its regular quarterly cash dividend. German American's Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share which will be payable on February 20, 2013 to shareholders of record as of February 10, 2013. This level of regular quarterly cash divided represents approximately a 7% increase above the Company's prior quarterly cash dividend level.