Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables for the first quarter increased 20.5% year-over-year to C$2.82 billion. The average credit card balance in the first quarter hit C$1609, up 19% from one-year ago, largely driven by its “Options MasterCard” product. For the prior quarter, the average credit card balance came in at C$1525. First quarter pre-tax earnings for CTFS were flat at C$25.8 million. Canadian Tire’s MasterCard receivables represent approximately 91% of CTFS’ total managed portfolio. CTFS’ retail credit card and personal loan receivables make up the remaining nine percent of the portfolio. The average number of accounts with a balance decreased year-over-year due to the sale of Canadian Tire’s commercial MasterCard account portfolio to BMO Bank of Montreal in June 2004. CTFS, in conjunction with BMO Bank of Montreal, markets the “Commercial Link MasterCard” while the receivables are owned and managed by BMO Bank of Montreal. CTFS says it plans to increase gross credit card outstandings to C$3.1 billion by the end of 2005. For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).