EMC Insurance Group Inc. reported operating income of $12.54 million, or 97 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2013, compared with $13.43 million, or $1.04 per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

Net income, including realized investment gains and losses, totaled $14.27 million for the quarter, compared with $19.22 million in the year-ago period. Premiums earned increased 9.8 percent to $120.5 million.

"The positive pricing momentum that occurred in 2012 has extended into the first quarter of 2013 as the property and casualty insurance market continues to support ongoing rate level increases," EMC President and CEO Bruce Kelley said in a release.

EMC has pursued a strategy of targeted rate increases rather than broad-based rate increases to retain its core book of business and improve underwriting margins, Kelley said.