Associated Bank begins year on high note

Associated Banc-Corp, the Green Bay-based parent company of Associated Bank, reported fourth quarter net income $45 million, or 26 cents per share, up from $40 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

For the full year ended Dec. 31, 2012, the company reported net income of $174 million, or $1.00 per share, up from $115 million, or 66 cents per share, for the previous year.

“This year’s strong performance was the result of the commitment of our colleagues to serving the needs of customers across the footprint,” said Associated president and chief executive officer Philip Flynn. “We are proud to have restored Associated to its position as a strong Upper Midwestern franchise and we are pleased to have been able to deliver value for our shareholders over the course of 2012. We continue to be encouraged by the momentum throughout the company and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow Associated.”

Associated expects high single digit loan growth in 2013, with the first quarter coming in seasonally low for loan growth. The bank plans to stay focused on disciplined deposit pricing and growing core retail and commercial deposits, he said.

“Looking to 2013, we believe that associated is very well positioned to focus on growth opportunities and to capitalize on market disruptions and win business from clients across our footprint,” Flynn said. “Given the current low rate environment, we’ll have to be very focused on defending the margin throughout the year and we’ll continue to look for and drive efficiencies in order to effectively manage expenses. We will also continue to look for ways to deploy capital in accretive value added transactions.”

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