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First Midwest Bank grows profit by 60.4 percent in 2018

First Midwest Bank in Crown Point is pictured above. 

First Midwest Bank earned $157.9 million in 2018, up 60.4 percent from the $98.4 million it made the previous year.

The Chicago-based bank, which has a large footprint in Northwest Indiana, made $1.52 per share for the year, as compared to $0.96 per share in 2017.

First Midwest made $41.4 million in the fourth quarter as compared to $53.4 million in the third quarter and $2.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The bank earned $0.39 per share in the fourth quarter.

"2018 was a very successful year for First Midwest," First Midwest CEO Michael Scudder said. "We grew loans and deposits and added clients across our business while continuing to focus on operating efficiency. The success of these efforts, combined with the benefits of higher interest rates and lower taxes, significantly improved our performance for the quarter and full year. Importantly, we also continued to build for our future, executing throughout the year on our strategic priorities, including targeted acquisitions and our 'Delivering Excellence' and technology initiatives."

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The bank closed branches in Lowell, Chesterton, Gary, East Chicago and Calumet City last year as part of its "Delivering Excellence" cost-cutting scheme.

"As we enter the new year, we are ready to build on 2018’s momentum. Continuation of our 'Delivering Excellence' initiative will further enhance an already superior client experience as well as strengthen operational performance and scalability," Scudder said. "Pending as well as recently completed acquisitions will further set us apart as a market leader in metro Chicago, positioning us for further market expansion and increasing our flexibility as we continue to invest in our businesses, communities and colleagues. All of these actions are taken with an unwavering focus on helping our clients achieve financial success and growing long-term value for our shareholders."

First Midwest grew loans to more than $11 billion in the fourth quarter and increased average deposits to $12 billion, up 4 percent as compared to the third quarter. It reduced non-performing assets to $80 million, a 14 percent year-over-year decline.

The bank, which has more than $15 billion in assets and $11 billion in assets under management, has branches in Crown Point, Dyer, East Chicago, Gary, Griffith, Hammond, Highland, Merrillville, Munster, Schererville, and St. John. It's the successor to Bank Calumet and Standard Bank and Trust, which both had large retail footprints in Northwest Indiana.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.