WARSAW, Ind., Jan. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN), parent company of Lake City Bank, today reported record net income of $35.4 million for 2012. This performance represents a 15%, or $4.7 million, increase in net income versus $30.7 million for 2011. Diluted net income per share increased 14% to $2.15 for 2012, versus $1.88 in 2011, and also represents a Company record. The Company further reported net income of $8.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, which represented a 4% increase over $8.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Diluted net income per share for the quarter increased 4% to $0.52 versus $0.50 for the comparable period of 2011. Net income for the linked third quarter of 2012 was $9.3 million. Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "In the last quarter century, we've produced record net income for our shareholders in 24 of those 25 years and 2012 represents our third consecutive year of record performance. We believe that these consistent results are a reflection of our relentless focus on taking care of our customers every day in every office." Kubacki continued, "2012 represented Lake City Bank's 140 th year of continuous service under the same name in our Indiana communities. Since our 1872 opening as the fourth bank in the small town of Warsaw, we've grown to become the fourth largest bank headquartered in Indiana. As we have grown, we've successfully maintained our commitment to the Hoosier communities we serve. We're proud that we have preserved the principles and ideals of a community bank while at the same time delivering strong shareholder value." The Company previously announced that its normal quarterly dividend of $0.17 for the fourth quarter would be paid in December of 2012 instead of the first quarter of 2013. This dividend was paid early due to the uncertainty, which existed at that time, regarding the future taxation of dividends. The quarterly dividends paid for each quarter of 2012 represents a 10% increase over those paid in 2011. The Company expects to return to its normal schedule for paying quarterly dividends during 2013.