American Express Company reported third-quarter net income of $1.3 billion, up 1 percent from a year ago. Consolidated total revenues net of interest expense rose 4 percent to $7.9 billion in the third quarter, from $7.6 billion a year ago. The increase was driven by a rise in cardmember spending and higher net interest income that reflected growth in the cardmember loan portfolio, the company said.
“We generated solid results this quarter against the backdrop of a very uneven global economy,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer.
“Bottom line results were driven by higher revenues and lower expenses, a combination that reflects ongoing efforts to contain operating costs while maintaining a substantial level of investment in our marketing and rewards programs. Cardmember spending rose 8 percent in the U.S. from a year ago and 6 percent globally. That’s a healthy pace in the current environment and an improvement from earlier in the quarter. Nonetheless, it represents slower growth than we were generating earlier in the year, a trend that we’re seeing among major card issuers," Chenault said.
“We continue to see many growth opportunities as new technologies drive the migration of global payments from cash and checks towards plastic and digital transactions. We are strengthening traditional products that deliver value to cardmembers and drive business for merchants," Chenault said.
“Taking full advantage of these and other opportunities, particularly in a slow growth economy, will continue to require rigorous cost containment to help ensure that we have the investment resources needed to continue to deliver on our growth objectives," Chenault said.