American Express (AmEx) has posted a net income of $1.5bn, or $1.48 per share, for the first quarter of 2015, an increase of 6% compared to $1.4bn, or $1.33 per share, for the same period last year.
The company said that its total revenue declined 3% to $7.95bn from $8.21bn a year ago. However, adjusted revenues were up 5% on an FX adjusted basis due to higher card member spending and higher net interest income.
American Express chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault said: "Underlying performance reflected some familiar themes: higher Card Member spending (3% globally, 7% on an FX adjusted basis); a modest increase in loans; credit metrics near their historic lows; disciplined cost controls; and a strong balance sheet that allows us to return substantial amounts of capital to shareholders.
"These results came against the negative impact of a sharply stronger US dollar, an uneven global economy, and the long-term renewal of several co-brand relationships that provide us with lower initial economics than the prior agreements.
"During the quarter, we announced the launch of a new loyalty coalition business in the US. This business, named Plenti, leverages the success of similar programs in our international markets that are building business for merchants and delivering rewards to more than 60 million participating customers.
"Separately, based on our strong outcome on the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test, we gained the flexibility to increase the quarterly dividend by 12% to 29 cents per share and repurchase up to $6.6bn of common shares through second quarter of 2016."
The U.S. Card Services unit of AmEx has reported a net income of $934m for the first quarter of 2015, a 7% increase from $876m a year ago. Total revenues net of interest expense grew 6% to $4.5bn from $4.3bn a year ago.
The company’s International Card Services unit reported net income of $134m, down 16% from $159m a year ago. Total revenues net of interest expense were $1.2bn, down 8% compared to the same period a year ago.