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April 20, 2017

Amex Q1 net income down 13%

By Patrick Brusnahan

American Express (Amex) has reported a net income of $1.2bn for the first quarter ended 31 March 2017, a decrease of 13% compared to $1.4bn for the same period last year.

Diluted earnings per share stood at $1.34, down 8% from $1.45 for the same period of 2016.

The credit card issuer said that its total revenues net of interest expense decreased by 2% to $7.9bn, compared to $8.1bn during the corresponding period of previous year.

US Consumer Services business has recorded a net income of $469m, a decrease of 32% compared to $694m a year ago. Total revenues net of interest expense decreased 8% to $3bn from $3.3bn a year earlier.

International Consumer and Network Services’ net income registered a 16% increase to $218m compared to $188m a year ago quarter.

Global Commercial Services reported fourth quarter net income of $418m, down 14% from $485m a year ago. The year-ago period included Costco-related revenues, provisions and expenses.

Global Merchant Services reported first quarter net income of $363m, up 2% from $357m a year ago. Corporate and Other reported first quarter net loss of $231m, compared with net loss of $298m last year.

American Express chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault said: “Our first quarter performance marks a good start to the year with momentum in the consumer and commercial businesses in the US and in key markets internationally. The results reflect many of the investments we’ve been making to grow the business, plus continued progress in reducing operating expenses.

“Card Member spending grew 8%, adjusted for changes in foreign exchange rates and Costco-related business that was included in the prior year. Loans were up 11% and credit indicators remained best in class.

“We acquired 2.6 million new cards across our global issuing businesses during the quarter and continued to broaden our reach among millennials with an expanded merchant network and enhanced benefits and services to earn a greater share of their wallet.”

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