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Fifth Third Reports Results for 1Q

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Fifth Third Bancorp’s 2005 first quarter earnings per diluted share were $.72 compared to $.75 per diluted share for the same period in 2004.

First quarter net income totaled $405 million, a six percent decrease from first quarter 2004′s net income of $430 million. First quarter earnings and balance sheet comparisons were impacted by the acquisition of First National Bankshares of Florida, Inc. (“First National”), including the recognition of $7 million of pre-tax acquisition related charges in the first quarter, or $.01 per diluted share. Excluding the impact of acquisition related charges, earnings per diluted share were $.73; a comparison being provided to supplement an understanding of fundamental earnings trends. First quarter return on average assets (ROA) and return on average equity (ROE) were 1.62 percent and 18.0 percent, respectively, compared to 1.88 percent and 19.7 percent in 2004′s first quarter.

“We continue to make progress in returning to the type of performance our shareholders expect from us,” stated George A. Schaefer, Jr., President and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp. “While we are not satisfied with bottom line results, we are encouraged by deposit trends, solid momentum in adding new customers and excellent overall results from Fifth Third Processing Solutions. We also saw considerable strength in our lending businesses in the first quarter, highlighted by 24 percent growth in commercial loans and 16 percent growth in consumer loans. Ultimately, higher interest rates combined with good loan and deposit growth will result in strengthening spread based revenues. Credit quality in our loan and lease portfolios remains well behaved and we are continuing to see solid returns from our de-novo banking center expansion efforts, including the first quarter opening of our first banking center in Pittsburgh. However, challenges remain on several fronts. We are working hard to reinvigorate revenue growth in some of our service businesses and we will continue to seek productivity enhancements to drive greater efficiency in our back office operations. These enhancements, combined with expected trend improvement in spread based revenues, provide optimism that results will improve over the remainder of the year.”

“The acquisition of First National, a $5.6 billion asset bank holding company located primarily in the fast-growing markets of Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Naples and Fort Myers, was announced in 2004 and completed this quarter. We completed conversion activity in February and have been investing in growth and aggressively expanding our sales force in these markets as we strive to deliver increased product and service capabilities to new and existing customers in our Florida markets.”

Retail transaction account and commercial customer additions resulted in good deposit trends in the first quarter. Compared to the same quarter last year, average transaction account balances increased by $6.2 billion, or 15 percent, highlighted by 18 percent growth in average demand deposits and 35 percent growth in average savings and money market balances. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2004, average transaction account balances increased by $2.5 billion, or 22 percent on an annualized sequential basis. Fifth Third is intensely focused on generating growth in customers and deposit balances and remains confident in its ability to competitively price and generate growth in an increasing interest rate environment. Deposit comparisons to 2004 are impacted by the first quarter 2005 acquisition of First National and the second quarter 2004 acquisition of Franklin Financial Corporation (“Franklin Financial”). Exclusive of the impact of these transactions, average transaction account balances increased by eight percent over the same quarter last year and were essentially flat sequentially despite the significant seasonal increases in transaction deposits typically seen in the fourth quarter; comparisons being provided to supplement an understanding of the fundamental deposit trends.

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Fifth Third Reports Results for 1Q
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