Associated Banc-Corp earnings up in 4Q, year

Green Bay-based Associated Banc-Corp reported fourth quarter net income of 47.7 million, or 28 cents per share, up from 46.6 million, or 26 cents per share, at the same time a year ago.

For the full year, the company reported net income of 188.6 million, or $1.10 per share, up 5.4 percent from 2012’s 178.9 million, or $1 per share.

Average loan balances were up 6 percent for the year, to $15.7 billion. Deposits grew 12 percent, to $17.4 billion.

“Overall we are pleased with our 2013 financial results and accomplishments. We were able to continue to grow our balance sheet, increase total revenues, modestly reduce expenses, and grow bottom line earnings,” said president and chief executive officer Philip B. Flynn. “We remain focused on delivering increased value to our shareholders.”

In a conference call with analysts after the earnings release, Flynn said he believes the banking industry is “right for a consolidation.”

Flynn added, “It hasn’t happened to any great degree. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s going to. I think as time goes on, particularly smaller banks will continue to struggle with this economic interest rate environment, regulatory environment et cetera. And just anecdotally there has been a noticeable pick up of interest of people giving us a call, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more activity this year.”

Associated Bank is the largest Wisconsin-based Bank.

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