JASPER, Ind., Oct. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- German American Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:GABC) today reported another period of exceptionally strong performance during the third quarter. During the quarter ended September 30, 2013, German American's reported net income of $6.5 million, or $0.51 per share, representing an increase of approximately 3% above the net income of $6.3 million, or $0.50 per share, reported in the third quarter of 2012. On a year-to-date basis, 2013 net income was $18.8 million, or $1.48 per share, which was approximately a 5% improvement, over the $17.9 million, or $1.41 per share, reported for the first nine months of 2012.
As compared to the third quarter results in the prior year, this year's earnings were positively affected by a nearly $800,000, or approximately 5%, increase in net interest income. This net interest income improvement was driven primarily by continued growth within the Company's loan portfolio, as end of period total loans, exclusive of loans held for sale, increased by $116 million, or approximately 10%, in 2013 relative to loans outstanding as of September 30, 2012. On a linked quarter basis, total end of period loans in the current quarter increased by approximately $40 million, which represents a 12% annualized growth rate, from the second quarter of the current year.
Further enhancing the Company's third quarter 2013 earnings was a $400,000 negative provision for potential loan losses, which was a $1.0 million reduction compared to the $640,000 of expense recorded as the provision for potential loan losses during the third quarter of 2012. This change in provision for loan losses was related to a continued improvement in the Company's asset quality metrics, as the Company's historically strong level of asset quality showed further improvement during the quarter. As of September 30, 2013, the ratio of German American's non-performing assets to total assets and the ratio of its non-performing loans to total loans have declined to pre-recessionary levels.