German American reports record earnings

JASPER — German American Bancorp reported record annual earnings for 2017, the eighth consecutive year of record performance, the company reported.

The company reported an 11.6 percent return on shareholders’ equity for 2017, the 13th consecutive fiscal year in which German American delivered double-digit returns on shareholder equity, the company said. The company also reported a 15 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend.

The company’s 2017 net income of $40.7 million, or $1.77 per share, increased by about $4.5 million, or 13 percent on a per-share basis, over its previous record annual net income of $35.2 million, or $1.57 per share reported in 2016.

Fourth quarter earnings of $11.6 million, or 51 cents per share, were an increase of about 16 percent on a per-share basis compared to 2016 fourth-quarter results of $10.1 million, or 44 cents per share.

The fourth-quarter and year-to-date net income were affected by a $2.3 million net tax benefit resulting from a revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities related to federal tax reform legislation enacted during the fourth quarter of 2017, the company said.

In addition to the federal income tax benefit, the record 2017 financial performance was largely attributable to a $5 million increased level of net interest income driven by a higher level of average loans outstanding. The 2017 year-end loans outstanding increased by about $151.6 million, or 8 percent, from the prior year-end level.

Mark A. Schroeder, German American’s chairman and CEO, said the company was pleased to continue a pattern of record financial performance in the past year.

“As evidenced by the double-digit annualized loan growth we experienced in the last half of the year, both business and consumer clients throughout our market area are feeling more confident in the growth potential and vibrancy of the economy,” he said.

German American Bancorp is a bank holding company based in Jasper. It operates 53 banking offices in 19 contiguous southern Indiana counties and one northern Kentucky county, including a location in Columbus.