MUNSTER | Peoples Bancorp, the holding company of Munster-based Peoples Bank, reported a 10 percent increase in earnings during the first nine months of the year as compared to the same period last year.
In the third quarter, Peoples Bank pulled in $2.4 million, as compared to $2.3 million during the same time in 2012.
The bank has originated $157 million in new loans so far this year, seen a decline in non-performing loans and reduced its operating expenses, bank officials said.
"Our strong earnings and strong balance sheet through the first nine months of the year demonstrate that the bank has put to rest the lingering effects of the Great Recession on our performance," said David Bochnowski, chairman and chief executive officer. "Income is ahead of precession levels along with asset quality and capital."
The bank has earned $2.02 per basic and diluted share on the $5.8 million earnings it has brought in through the end of September. The profit reflects a 1.11 percent return on investment.
Earnings for the last quarter were 84 cents per share, a 13.87 percent return on equity, the bank reported.
Shareholders' equity has risen to 9.7 percent of total assets, the highest it has been since the Great Recession began in 2008.
"Banking fundamentals continue to drive our performance as interest income rose during the most recent quarter as aided by the collection of $1.4 million in back interest from the payoff of a $4.3 million out-of-market participation loan," Bochnowski said. "Operating expenses decreased by 1.5 percent, and income from our wealth management group increased 10.7 percent."
Peoples Bank's assets total $693.4 million.
The ratios of both non-performing loans and non-performing assets fell to 1.11 percent. The bank's coverage ratio, or allowance for loan losses as a percentage of non-performing loans, was 160.18 percent, as compared to 73.34 percent at the end of last year.
"As a community bank, our operating results enable us to maximize strategies to extend our banking and investment products throughout our communities -- and provide greater opportunity for local economic growth," Bochnowski said.
"During the first nine months of the year, our lending team originated $157 million in new loans as we responded to the credit needs of our consumer and commercial customers."