Debt buyer Encore Capital Group, based in San Diego, reported strong financial gains for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, including record earnings, collections and operating cash flow.

Adjusted EBITDA - net income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - totaled $150.9 million, a 41 percent jump over the $106.9 million in the year-ago period.

Gross collections from portfolio purchases and recoveries was up 30 percent to $246 million from $189.1 million in the third quarter last year. Revenue from the portfolio purchasing business totaled $140.7 million, a 21 percent increase from the year-ago period. Total revenues rose 25 percent to $144.8 million.

The company spent $47.3 million in the quarter to buy delinquent portfolios with a $1.1 billion face value. In the third quarter last year, the company spent $65.7 million to buy portfolios with a $2 billion face value. In its SEC filing, Encore Capital reported it focused on telecom portfolios in the quarter while its investment in credit card portfolios declined.

Encore’s total domestic payroll dropped 5.7 percent to 750 compared to the end of the third quarter last year. The firm's international payroll rose 36.6 percent to 2,010.

All of Encore’s collection channels saw large gains, with internal collection sites increasing 40.3 percent, the legal channel up 17.3 percent and forwarding to third party collection agencies jumping 64 percent.

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