MIDLAND, Mich., July 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chemical Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:CHFC) today announced 2013 second quarter net income of $14.2 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, compared to 2013 first quarter net income of $13.2 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, and 2012 second quarter net income of $13.9 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. For the six months ended June 30, 2013, net income was $27.4 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared to net income for the six months ended June 30, 2012 of $26.2 million, or $0.95 per diluted share. "We turned in a solid performance in the second quarter of 2013, largely attributable to strong loan growth and improving asset quality that resulted in lower credit-related costs," noted David B. Ramaker, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Corporation. "On a go forward basis, we continue to look to these factors and a focused cost discipline to drive earnings growth, but also remain well positioned to capitalize on two longer-term trends: the anticipated rising rate environment and ongoing consolidation in Michigan's banking industry. In addition, we are well positioned to benefit from any broader economic recovery, as our community-focused, relationship-oriented approach and strong financial condition make Chemical Bank the financial institution of choice in the Michigan markets we serve," Ramaker added. Net income of $14.2 million in the second quarter of 2013 was $1.0 million, or 7.3%, higher than the first quarter of 2013, with higher net interest income and lower operating expenses in the second quarter of 2013 partially offset by lower noninterest income. Net income in the second quarter of 2013 was $0.3 million, or 2.4%, higher than the second quarter of 2012, attributable to a combination of higher net interest income, higher noninterest income and a lower provision for loan losses, all of which were partially offset by higher operating expenses. The Corporation had increases of $2.0 million in both net interest income and noninterest income in the second quarter of 2013 over the second quarter of 2012, while the provision for loan losses was $1.0 million lower in the second quarter of 2013, compared to the second quarter of 2012. Operating costs in the second quarter of 2013 were $4.8 million higher than the second quarter of 2012, which was partially attributable to the 21 branch banking offices acquired in December 2012 (branch acquisition transaction).