Subprime credit card lenders reported robust earnings increases for the third quarter, though credit losses rose.

Providian Financial Corp. announced a record 70% jump in net income for the three-month period to $82.6 million, or 85 cents a share.

Providian's net chargeoffs increased to 7.8% of its managed loans-credit cards and home financing-up from 6.2% a year earlier. Managed loans grew 19% to $11.8 billion.

Metris Cos. reported a 61% rise in net income to $17 million, or 85 cents a share. Net chargeoffs crept to 10.5% of managed credit card loans, from 8.7% in third quarter 1997.

Card loans were $4.2 billion at the end of the quarter, up 36% from 1997.

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