Lakeland Financial Corp.

$LKFN - Nasdaq - Banks and Thrifts
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Lake City Bank Named to Bank Director Magazine's Nifty Fifty

WARSAW, Ind., Feb. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lake City Bank, the single bank subsidiary of Lakeland Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:LKFN), announced today that the bank has been included in the Bank Director Magazine "Nifty 50" List of high performing banks for the second consecutive year.

The Nifty Fifty is compiled by Bank Director and Sandler O'Neill + Partners to rank "the top 50 best users of capital based on profitability and capital strength." All U.S. banks and thrifts that trade publicly on the NYSE, NASDAQ and NYSE Amex stock exchanges are measured on two financial metrics: core return on tangible common equity and the ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets. According to the report, "In an age where banks are forced to carry more capital, the ability to deliver industry leading returns without the advantage of high leverage provides affirmation of the bank's strategy and the execution skills of its management."   

Michael L. Kubacki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are delighted to be included on this list of top performing banks in the country and are particularly honored to be one of The Nifty Fifty as it reflects both a robust capital position and strong earnings performance. The team at Lake City Bank has been focused on these two key metrics as part of our strategic plan and we are very pleased with this recognition." 

David M. Findlay, President and Chief Financial Officer, added, "We have significantly strengthened our capital structure over the past five years without compromising our focus on creating value for shareholders. We're proud of the fact that the two are not mutually exclusive at Lake City Bank and our appearance on The Nifty Fifty for the second consecutive year is further evidence of our consistent performance."

Lakeland Financial Corporation is a $3.1 billion bank holding company headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana. Lake City Bank serves Indiana with 45 branches located in the following Indiana counties: Kosciusko, Elkhart, Allen, St. Joseph, DeKalb, Fulton, Hamilton, Huntington, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Pulaski and Whitley.

Lakeland Financial Corporation may be accessed on the home page of its subsidiary, Lake City Bank, at www.lakecitybank.com. The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under "LKFN".

This document contains, and future oral and written statements of the Company and its management may contain, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of the Company. Forward-looking statements, which may be based upon beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the Company's management and on information currently available to management, are generally identifiable by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "intend," "estimate," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should" or other similar expressions. Additionally, all statements in this document, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events. Additional information concerning the Company and its business, including factors that could materially affect the Company's financial results, is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.

CONTACT: David M. Findlay
         President and
         Chief Financial Officer
         (574) 267-9197
         david.findlay@lakecitybank.com
Source: Lake City Bank
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