Q4 2009 included $6.1 million of other income in connection with FirstCity's settlement of a lawsuit.
Selected other financial data from continuing operations for Q4 2010:
The Company's total operating costs and expenses (excluding provision, interest and income tax expenses) decreased to $11.7 million for Q4 2010 from $12.2 million in Q4 2009, due primarily to $0.5 million of costs and expenses recorded by the Company's consolidated wireless communications equipment manufacturing subsidiary (special situations platform investment) in Q4 2009 compared to $-0- in Q4 2010 (the Company deconsolidated this subsidiary in June 2010 – see discussion below).
Total interest expense increased to $4.4 million in Q4 2010 from $3.7 million in Q4 2009. FirstCity's average debt holdings were $294.6 million at a 6.0% average cost of funds for Q4 2010, compared to its average debt holdings of $310.1 million at a 4.8% average cost of funds for Q4 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 in 2009.The Company recorded $1.1 million of income tax expense in Q4 2010 compared to $0.2 million of income tax expense in Q4 2009. Income tax expense in Q4 2010 was composed primarily of foreign and state income taxes, and fluctuates regularly depending on the timing and amount of taxable revenues generated from our domestic and foreign acquisition partnerships, and our operating and servicing entities. Noncontrolling interest expense increased to $3.2 million in Q4 2010 from $2.4 million in Q4 2009. Noncontrolling interest expense represents the portions of net earnings that are attributed to our co-investors in our consolidated subsidiaries. This increase was a result of an increase in net earnings from certain of our consolidated subsidiaries in Q4 2010 compared to Q4 2009 – primarily our consolidated European acquisition partnerships and special situations platform.