Improving Economy Helps MBNA

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WILMINGTON, Del. - (07/23/04) -- Credit card giant MBNA Corp. saidearnings advanced 21% for its second quarter to $660 million, or 51cents a share, from $543 million, or 42 cents a share, for the samequarter last year, with help from a $94 million reduction in itsallowance for credit losses. The company also benefited to the tuneof $32.5 million in the quarter from the positive resolution of atax dispute with state and federal examiners. Asset qualitycontinued to improve for the credit card giant, with itsdelinquency ratio declining to 3.48% for the quarter, form 3.71%for the same period last year, and its net credit loss ratiofalling to 4.60% , from 4.91%. Through the first six months of theyear, MBNA reported a 20% rise in net income to $1.18 billion, or90 cents a share, from $976 million, or 75 cents a share, for thefirst half last year. The company's loan portfolio rose to $118billion at the end of the second quarter, up from $110 billion ayear ago.

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