Target Corp.'s credit card business, which suffered from delinquencies during the economic downturn, outperformed internal projections in the retailer's fiscal first quarter as expenses related to bad debt fell sharply.

Revenue from the business declined 7.8%, as profit soared to $111 million in the period ended May 1 from $39 million a year earlier, helped by the lower bad-debt expense, Target, of Minneapolis, said Wednesday.

Accounts at least 60 days late fell to 5.3% of receivables from 6.1% a year earlier and 6.3% in the prior quarter.

The 90-day delinquency rate was 3.8%, down from 4.4% and 4.7%.

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