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EDMONTON, Alberta — With record net earnings in each of the final three quarters of the year, Carfinco Income Fund said it set an all-time high for full-year net earnings in 2009.

The company posted net earnings of $7.3 million, which is $1 million stronger than the prior high that was recorded in 2006. This also represents a significant improvement from 2008, when the company had a loss of $2 million.

Carfinco certainly closed the year on a high note, with fourth-quarter net earnings of $2.6 million, which was the strongest period of the year and a sizable upswing from the $600,000 net loss in the final quarter of 2008. 

"The year 2009 can best be described as the ‘comeback' year for Carfinco, surviving the economic turmoil, which started in late 2007 and continued into 2009," officials noted.

"Management and the board of trustees reacted quickly, implementing operational policies and procedures in 2008 to reflect the economic downturn and more specifically the deterioration of the credit environment in which the fund conducts business," they added.

Looking at the fourth quarter in more detail, the company generated $8.6 million in total revenues, a 6.6-percent increase over the year-ago period.

Carfinco reported $17.8 million in loan originations, up from $15 million in the same period of 2008.

The company's G&A expenses reached $2.2 million, which was the same in the prior-year period.

In light of the soft economy, Carfinco's management began focusing on operational efficiencies and finance receivables performance as opposed to growth.

Officials said the following full-year results illustrated this shift:

—An 8.7-percent decrease in full-year loan originations to $67.8 million

—A "modest" 4.8-percent increase in full-year finance receivables to $113.2 million.

—Full-year revenue of $32.6 million, a 3.1-percent improvement.

—The company's operating expenses dropped to $8.1 million, a 24.2-percent reduction from 2008.

—Carfinco's operating expense ratio on portfolio assets was 8.1 percent, marking the smallest operating expense ever for the company and a decrease from 9 percent in the prior year.

—Carfinco saw the number for 31-plus days delinquent accounts fall to 4.6 percent of finance receivables in 2009, a 35.2-percent decrease from a year ago, when it was at 7.1 percent.

"Growth will again become a focus in 2010," officials noted. "We are targeting growth of 15 percent to 20 percent in 2010 versus the 4.8 percent in 2009. Carfinco is well positioned for this growth as the capital required is available from profits and current debt facility."