American Express 3rd-qtr profit rises marginally

Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:18pm EDT

Oct 17 (Reuters) - American Express Co's third-quarter profit rose only marginally as cardmember spending growth remained muted for the second quarter in a row.

The company earned $1.25 billion, or $1.09 per share, up 1 percent from $1.24 billion, o r $1.03 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue, net of interest expense, was $7.86 billion, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

The company's American cardholders, mostly affluent consumers, reined in their spending.

Cardmember spending in the United States rose 8 percent in the quarter. That figure, though up from the second quarter, is still below the double-digit growth the company had posted for the nine preceding quarters.

"It represents slower growth than we were generating earlier in the year, a trend that we are seeing among major card issuers," Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault said in a statement.

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