The Company's share of foreign currency transaction gains from its consolidated and unconsolidated foreign operations was $0.7 million for Q3 2010, compared to $0.1 million of foreign currency transaction gains for the same period in 2009. Our combined foreign currency exchange gain in Q3 2010 related primarily to our European operations (the Euro currency strengthened against the U.S. dollar more in Q3 2010 compared to Q3 2009).
Equity in earnings of unconsolidated subsidiaries was $10.0 million in Q3 2010 compared to $0.4 million for Q3 2009. This significant increase was due to additional equity earnings of $9.9 million and $0.6 million from our special situations platform subsidiaries and foreign servicing entities, respectively, recorded in Q3 2010 compared to Q3 2009. This increase was off-set partially by $1.0 million of lower equity earnings from our domestic and foreign acquisition partnerships recorded in Q3 2010 compared to Q3 2009. In Q3 2010, we recorded $12.4 million in equity earnings from our equity-method investment related to a prefabricated building manufacturer (an unconsolidated subsidiary of our special situations platform). This entity reported significantly-higher net earnings in Q3 2010 related to a short-term lease agreement with a single customer. This lease agreement does not extend beyond September 2010.
Selected financial data for Q3 2010:
The Company's total operating costs and expenses (excluding provision, interest and income tax expenses) increased to $25.7 million for Q3 2010 from $10.4 million in Q3 2009, primarily due to $15.6 million of costs and expenses from our newly-consolidated coal mine subsidiary (refer to discussion above), which was off-set partially by $0.7 million of consolidated foreign currency exchange gains recorded in Q3 2010 compared to $0.1 million of such gains in the same period a year ago – which is a $0.6 million favorable swing.Total interest expense was $4.7 million in Q3 2010 and $3.5 million in Q3 2009. FirstCity's average debt holdings were $302.8 million at an average cost of funds of 6.2% for Q3 2010, compared to its average debt holdings of $303.3 million at an average cost of funds of 4.6% for Q3 2009. Our increased cost of funds primarily relates to the higher interest and fees charged on our Reducing Note Facility with Bank of Scotland (closed in June 2010) compared to the loan facilities we had in place with Bank of Scotland last year.