DIXON -- First Northern Community Bancorp (OTC: FNRN), parent company of First Northern Bank, reported a 17.4 percent increase in net income in 2013 from the year before.

"The year was certainly not without its challengers," said Louise Walker, president and chief executive, in the announcement Thursday. "However, we are pleased with the continued progress our company has made. The industry as a whole appears to be improving, despite the combination of margin compression, regulatory burden and pricing pressures created by intense competition for loans."

The Dixon-based bank earned $5.4 million last year, equivalent to 48 cents per diluted share. Deposits increased 10 percent to $803.8 million. Loans increased 14.2 percent, to $508.1 million, with total assets rising 8 percent to $897.7 million.

First Northern's return on assets in 2013 was 0.6 percent, compared with 0.55 percent last year.

The bank's board of directors on Jan. 23 approved a 3 percent dividend, payable on March 31 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 28.