American Express has reported a net income of $885m, or $0.73 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, compared to $437m , or $0.31 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2009.
Consolidated revenues net of interest expense for the first quarter of 2010 were $6.61bn, up 11% compared to $5.93bn in the comparable period of 2009.
Consolidated provisions for losses in the first quarter of 2010 totaled $943m, down 48%, compared to $1.8bn in the same period of 2009.
The company’s return on average equity was 18% , up from 16.3% a in 2009.
Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express, said: “The biggest turnarounds in spending came from corporate cardmembers and banks who issue cards on our network. Consumer and small business volumes also rose in part because of strength in travel, entertainment and other discretionary categories.
“Our ability to generate strong volumes comes at a time when cardmembers are paying down their outstanding debt. This compares favorably to the major issuers who traditionally have had to rely on lending-oriented customers to generate billed business. At a time when so many consumers are focused on value, our relative strength also reflects the importance of pay-in-full charge cards and the appeal of our rewards, customer service and benefit programs.
“To help build on our momentum, we increased marketing and promotion investments back to the pre-recessionary levels. We also made other substantial investments to further strengthen our competitive position as we come out of the recession.”