Ford Motor Credit Company has reported a net income gain of USD528m in the first quarter of 2010, an improvement of USD541 million from a net loss of USD13m a year earlier. 

On a pre-tax basis, Ford Credit earned USD828 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of USD36 million in the previous year.

The improvement in pre-tax earnings primarily reflected lower depreciation expense for leased vehicles due to higher auction values and a lower provision for credit losses, offset partially by lower volume.

“Ford Credit had strong first quarter results, in part due to improvements in the used vehicle auction markets,” said Mike Bannister, chairman and CEO. 

“Economic conditions are still uncertain and, as always, we will utilise the solid business practices and superior servicing that remain the foundations of our company.”

Ford Credit now expects 2010 profits to be about the same as its 2009 profits.  The recent improvements in used vehicle auction values and credit loss performance are expected to offset the effects of lower average receivables and the non-recurrence of ‘certain favourable 2009 factors’.