NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Imperial Credit Industries reported sharp declines in earnings for the fourth quarter of last year and for the full year as mortgage originations plummeted.

The company said that as a result it had adopted cost containment and revenue enhancement programs. It is cutting its mortgage staff by about 40% but adding B and C and multifamily lending divisions.

Originations in the fourth quarter fell 79%, to $501.8 million, according to the announcement. For the year, the decline was 29%, to $4.3 billion.

In the quarter, the company earned $3.4 million, or 34 cents a share, down from $5.1 million, or 50 cents a share in the same period of 1993. For the year, the company had net income of $8.7 million, or 85 cents a share, against $18.4 million, or $1.79 a share, the year before.

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