American Express Co. reported an 11.8% gain in second- quarter net income, to $646 million.
Revenues from Travel Related Services, the company's largest business unit, which includes credit and charge cards and travel agency services, rose 14%, to $411 million.
The company attributed the growth in the unit to higher customer spending on Amex cards and higher travel commission and fees. Total cards in force rose 1.7 million from a year ago, to 43.9 million. One million of those cards were added in the second quarter alone, and 800,000 of them are in the United States. Charge volume rose 10%, to $62.4 billion.
Profits from American Express Financial Advisors, which offers financial planning and investment products, rose 14%, to a record $242 million. Profits declined 19% at American Express Bank, to $38 million. The bank handles the travelers check business, a perennial money-loser.
Amex's earnings of $1.41 per share beat analysts expectations by a penny.