NEW YORK - American Express Co.'s second-quarter profits rose 15% from a year earlier, to $740 million, or 54 cents a share, on gains from loan demand by its cardholders.

The results beat the average estimate of Wall Street analysts by a penny. Revenues increased 15.5%, to $5.56 billion.

The company said profits from its travel-related services group, which includes the card business and travel services, rose 15%, to $472 million, driven mostly by a 12% increase in the number of cardholders and strong growth in card loans.

Profits from American Express Financial Advisors, the unit devoted to financial planning advice for individuals, climbed 14%, to $275 million.

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