CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Huntington Banks reported record net income of $641 million for 2012, up 18 percent from the prior year.
The company said average total loans increased 3 percent and average core deposits increased 8 percent.
Stephen Steinour, Huntington's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement, "We are pleased with the year's financial results, which reflect steady growth in a number of key areas including loans, deposits, and customer relationships as well as improved profitability.
"This growth has occurred in a challenging economic and regulatory environment," he said. "It demonstrates the continued benefits from successfully executing our long-term strategic plan, including the investments we have made during the previous three years. Those investments added over $50 million of pre-tax income during 2012 and we expect that benefit to grow as those investments continue to mature.
"While some businesses are hesitant to invest in light of the current uncertainty in the economy, we believe our differentiated approach to banking, coupled with investing in our franchise through enhanced products and services, will drive growth and improvement of our long-term profitability."
Andrew Paterno, president of the bank's West Virginia franchise, said in a phone interview, "We had two records this year - net income and the number of checking accounts acquired. Although we don't break out West Virginia figures, I can say we've had growth pretty close to the corporation's average."
Paterno said the success "validates the strategy the bank has. We went to local businesses when nobody else wanted to. Now we're the No. 3 Small Business Administration lender in the United States and the No. 1 lender in our market.
"We're still very bullish on the Midwest," he said.