The net interest margin was 4.16% in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 3.95% for the three-month period ending December 31, 2011. The net interest margin was 3.89% for the year ended December 31, 2012, up from 3.74% for 2011. The increase in the margin in 2012 compared to 2011 was due to the recognition of approximately $1.5 million of interest income during the fourth quarter from the Heartland loan discounts along with the reduction in the rate paid on interest bearing liabilities. Excluding the interest income recognized from the loan discounts, the margin would have been 3.81% and 3.79% for the three and twelve month periods ending December 31, 2012, respectively.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, residential mortgage loan activity generated $4.0 million in income from the gain on sale of mortgage loans, an increase of $1.5 million from the same period in 2011.

Lending Activity

Total loans increased by $207.5 million from $983.2 million at December 31, 2011 to $1.2 billion at December 31, 2012. For 2012, commercial loans increased by $108.1 million, mortgage warehouse loans increased by $43.1 million, consumer loans increased by $23.7 million and residential mortgage loans increased by $32.6 million compared to December 31, 2011 loan levels. The acquisition of Heartland increased total loans by $114.6 million, and Horizon generated an additional $92.9 million in net organic loan growth during 2012.

“In a very competitive environment for quality lending prospects, it was encouraging to demonstrate meaningful organic loan growth,” explained Dwight. “In addition, we made considerable progress in improving overall credit quality in 2012, measured by net charge-offs, which declined 25% in 2012 compared to the prior year, also lower loan delinquency, and effectively disposing of repossessed collateral and other real estate owned.”

“Although loans past due 30 to 89 days and non-performing loans increased primarily as a result of the acquisition, this was expected and we are working diligently with borrowers to resolve issues and return loans to current status. We have deployed a seasoned expert in handling troubled loans to address these challenged credits. Horizon is also seeing progress from its loan collection efforts.”

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