American Express' (AXP) profits rose slightly in the second quarter on higher consumer spending, the company said after the markets closed Wednesday.

Excluding previously discontinued operations, profits rose 3% from the same period last year, to $1.3 billion, as total cardholder spending climbed 7% and total revenue grew 5%, to $8 billion. Its earnings per share of $1.15 beat estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters by 6 cents.

"Consumer, small business and corporate cardmember spending, along with the business volumes generated by our network of bank partners, remain healthy despite a very uneven economy," Kenneth Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express, said in a press release.

He added that the cardmember loan portfolio grew 4%, and that credit indicators, "which were excellent at the start of the year," improved even further in the second quarter.

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