DEARBORN, Mich. — Like many of its peers in the industry, Ford Motor Credit's first-quarter performance was negatively affected by credit restrictions as well as low consumer confidence and job losses through the country, according to the company. 

Specifically, in its preliminary quarterly results released late last week, Ford Motor Credit recorded a net loss of $13 million during the period, compared with net income of $24 million in the same period of 2008.

Before taxes, the company reported $36 million in net losses for the quarter, versus net earnings of $32 million a year ago.

According to officials, the pre-tax decline stemmed largely from lower volume and a higher provision for credit losses.

This softening was offset slightly by lower depreciation expense for leased vehicles and lower net losses related to market valuation adjustments to derivatives, executives shared.

Moreover, lower operating costs were offset in part by such expenses as restructuring costs.

At the end of the first quarter, Ford Motor Credit's on-balance sheet net receivables were at $104 billion, down from $116 billion after 2008.

Managed receivables totaled $106 billion, versus $118 billion at the end of last year.

According to officials, lower overall receivables primarily reflected a weakening in receivables in Europe and North America, stemming largely from lower industry volumes, lower dealer stocks, and the transition of Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda financing to other finance providers.

"Like the rest of the industry, Ford Motor Credit continues to be affected by credit market constraints, reduced vehicle sales, low consumer confidence and job contraction in difficult economic conditions," explained Mike Bannister, Ford Motor Credit's chairman and chief executive officer.

"However, we continue to provide consistent levels of support to Ford Motor Co. dealers and customers in the downturn through our strong business and prudent lending practices," he added.

Moving on, officials indicated that the company's managed leverage was 10-to-1, as of March 31.

Also, during the period, Ford Motor Credit used $1.1 billion of cash to buy a portion of Ford Motor Co.'s senior secured term loan debt.

"Ford Motor Credit distributed the term loan debt to its immediate parent, Ford Holdings LLC, whereupon it was forgiven," officials shared.