Accounts receivable management giant NCO Group Inc. yesterday reported a net loss of $337.1 million for 2008, compared with a $31.7 million loss in 2007, and a net loss of $286.6 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Results for the Horsham, Pa.-based company were marked by non-cash impairments and restructuring charges, NCO's Chairman and CEO Michael Barrist tells Collections & Credit Risk, a CardLine sister publication. NCO recorded a $289.5 million non-cash impairment linked to the November 2006 transaction that took the company private, a charge that had a direct impact on net operating figures for 2008. NCO also absorbed a $98.9 million impairment charge on its purchased debt portfolios. NCO's 2008 revenues increased 15.4% to $1.5 billion compared with $1.3 billion for 2007. Revenues increased 22.6% to $362.5 million in the fourth quarter compared with $295.7 million during the same period a year earlier. NCO attributed the revenue jump to the $340 million acquisition of Outsourcing Solutions Inc. (OSI), reporting that OSI contributed $337.3 million in revenues last year. The acquisition closed on March 1, 2008. "Throughout 2008, we executed our focused strategy of sustaining operational profitability while assuring that we were properly positioned to benefit from the increased demand available to us within our markets," Barrist said in a statement. NCO purchases bad debt, including charged-off Visa, MasterCard and private-label credit cards, from banks, finance companies and retailers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. The company ranked as the No. 1 collection agency with $1.2 billion in 2007 sales and more than 7,200 collectors in Collections & Credit Risk's 2008 industry rankings. OSI had ranked second in sales before it was acquired.

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