SPRING HOUSE, Pa. - Advanta Corp., which has been shedding business lines and says it will focus exclusively on issuing credit cards to companies, said last month that its business card operations earned pretax income of $19 million in the fourth quarter, a 64% increase from the year earlier and 34% more than in the third quarter.

Chargeoffs for the quarter were 4.95%, compared to 4.83% for the previous quarter. Advanta Business Cards ended the year with managed receivables of $1.66 billion, up from $1.53 billion at the end of the third quarter and $1.04 billion at yearend 1999.

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