Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables for the fourth quarter increased 15% year-over-year to US$2.26 billion. The average credit card balance in the fourth quarter hit US$1,235, up 31% from one-year ago, largely driven by its “Options MasterCard” product. For 2004, the average credit card balance came in at US$1,163. Fourth quarter pre-tax earnings for CTFS were up 7% to US$37.6 million. Net credit losses for the quarter ended January 1st, were US$32.0 million, compared to US$25.9 million one-year ago. The Company said credit card write-offs for the fourth quarter and the total year were similar to prior year levels and remain within the targeted rate of 5% to 6% of managed receivables. This year, CTFS is expanding its personal loans program, which was successfully test-marketed in 2004. For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).