DALLAS -- Associates Corp. of North America announced record earnings for the third quarter and for the nine months ending Sept. 30.

Net earnings for the third quarter increased 20% to $161.7 million, compared with $134.4 million in the same period of 1993.

Net earnings for the nine months ending Sept. 30 were $444.3 million, a 17% increase over the $381.3 million for the prior year.

Total revenue for the third quarter increased 18% to $1.1 billion, compared with $949.3 million in the third quarter of 1993.

The Ford Motor Co. subsidiary recently completed an acquisition of Amoco Oil Co.'s retail credit card operation. But Associates said most of its receivables growth has been generated without major acquisitions.

Consumer finance receivables outstanding, including credit cards, were at $22.9 billion at Sept. 30, a 17% increase over the $19.7 billion reported for the same period of 1993.

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