American Express 1Q Net Income up 15 Percent to $618 Million

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American Express Co. said yesterday its first quarter net income rose 15 percent to $618 million, or 46 cents per share, from $538 million, or 40 cents per share a year ago. Net revenue for the quarter rose 1 percent to $5.76 billion, from $5.72 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

According to Kenneth Chenault, chairman/CEO, American Express increased its spending on marketing, card acquisition, product development and asset gathering activities in the first quarter. He did not say how much the company spent on each of those activities.

"If the business environment continues to improve, we expect to accelerate investments in business building activities and to deliver solid operating results," Chenault said.

American Express said net income from its Travel Related Services business fell 11 percent in the first quarter to $467 million, from $522 million a year ago. The company said it spent $326 million on marketing and promotion for its Travel Related Services business in the first quarter, up 1.5 percent from $321 million in the first quarter of 2001. It noted its marketing and promotion spending rose due to "the launch of the new brand advertising campaign and an initial step up in selected card acquisition programs."

Net income from the company's American Express Financial Advisors business rose to $182 million, from $51 million in 2001.

American Express Bank reported net income of $13 million up from $9 million a year ago.

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