US card firm American Greetings yesterday reported a 78 per cent drop in first-quarter earnings, hurt by costs related to bailing Clinton Cards out of administration. Clinton Cards collapsed last month after it could not repay a £35m loan to its biggest supplier American Greetings. The Ohio-based company then bought the troubled chain for $37m, keeping 397 stores. In a statement yesterday, American Greetings said costs related to writing off bad debt at Clinton Cards hurt earnings by 35 cents per share in the first quarter. The company’s earnings fell to $7.25m from $32.5m a year earlier. Sales fell 2.2 per cent to $393.1m, hurt by an impairment charge related to a supply agreement with Clinton Cards' Birthdays unit.