MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian consumer credit firm TCS Group (TCSq.L) said on Monday it had made a quarterly loss for the first time since it listed its shares in London in October 2013, as it reined in credit card issuance and suffered forex losses.
Russian banks have seen their profits slide because of high central bank funding costs and as an economic slowdown has led to a deterioration in the quality of their loan books.
TCS, founded and controlled by Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov, also said its first-quarter financial performance reflected a busy debt repayment schedule and a volatile funding environment.
"We took a decision to sacrifice the bottom line in the first quarter of 2015," Oliver Hughes, chief executive of Tinkoff Bank, one of TCS's businesses, said in a statement.
"We require no further funding to meet our obligations for the year and can now concentrate on building our business profitability in the remainder of the year," he said.
TCS, an online provider of retail banking services which also sells insurance, made a net loss of 193 million roubles ($3.5 million) in the first quarter, as opposed to a profit of 362 million roubles in the same period of last year..
Its shares fell 2.9 percent in early trade on the London Stock Exchange.
TCS said its net interest margin declined to 28.4 percent in the first quarter from 33 percent a year earlier. Its share of non-performing loans fell to 14.4 percent, however, from 14.5 percent at the end of 2014.
It issued 79,000 credit cards in the first three months of 2015, 72 percent lower than the year-earlier figure.
Hughes said he expected TCS's loan portfolio to remain broadly flat for the rest of the year, in line with the Russian banking sector as a whole.
"We expect the cost of risk to remain at broadly the same level as in 2014 and plan to end the year in profit assuming there will be no further sharp FX swings," he added.
($1 = 55.9300 roubles)
Reporting by Alexander Winning, Editing by Timothy heritage