American AgCredit, the nation’s 6th largest agricultural lending cooperative, announced net income of $159.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, along with a cash dividend distribution of $59.8 million to its shareholders.
“Strong loan growth and our merger with the former Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas put us in a position to realize significant gains in net interest income in 2017,” said Byron Enix, Chief Executive Officer. “It was a year of exceptional performance for American AgCredit.”
2016 Results of Operations
The Association produced after-tax net income of $159.1 million in 2017, compared to $104.5 million in 2016 and $99.7 million in 2015. The $54.6 million increase in net income from 2016 was primarily due to a $42.6 million increase in net interest income as a result of strong organic loan growth and our completed merger with the former Farm Credit of Southwest Kansas. Other components of the 2017 net income increase consisted of a $10.2 million decrease in provision for credit losses and a $4.5 million increase in non-interest income partially offset by a $2.7 million increase in non-interest expense. The Association’s 2017 net interest income was $255.1 million, compared to $212.5 million in 2016 and $185.6 million in 2015. The 2017 increase of $42.6 million represents a 20.0% increase over 2016 and was also primarily due to strong organic loan growth and the Southwest Kansas merger. Average earning assets grew by $1.3 billion during 2017, representing an annual growth rate of 17.3%.
“We distributed a record $59.8 million in cash dividends back to customers for 2017 bringing our total cash dividends returned to customers since 2005 to more than $400 million,” added Chief Financial Officer Vern Zander. “Our consistent dividend program reflects our financial strength and enables us to return value to our customer owners year after year.”