January 21, 2015 / 9:25 PM / in 3 years

American Express says to cut more than 4,000 jobs

American Express and American Express corporate cards are pictured in Encinitas, California October 17, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - More than 4,000 employees of American Express Co will lose their jobs over the next year as part of a restructuring program at the credit card company, a spokeswoman said.

The planned redundancies contributed to a restructuring charge taken by the world’s largest credit card issuer during the fourth quarter, part of its plan to improve operating efficiencies.

“More than 4,000 employees will be impacted by the restructuring. This will occur over the course a year throughout the organization,” Marina Hoffmann Norville, a spokeswoman for American Express, said in an email.

CNBC had earlier reported the planned job cuts, citing an unnamed company representative. It said American Express would continue to hire selectively.

American Express had 62,800 employees at the end of 2013, according to its latest annual report. Four thousand jobs would therefore constitute slightly more than 6 percent of the total workforce.

The company, announcing quarterly earnings on Wednesday, said it took a $313 million pre-tax charge in the fourth quarter as part of its efforts to improve operating efficiencies.

American Express reported a 10.7 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit as customers in the United States spent more using its cards. The company earned higher net interest income.

Net income rose to $1.45 billion, or $1.39 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.31 billion, or $1.21 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue, net of interest expense, rose 6.6 percent to $9.11 billion.

The results included a pre-tax gain of $719 million on the sale of the company’s investment in expense-software maker Concur Technologies Inc, which Germany’s SAP SE agreed to buy for about $7.3 billion in September.

Shares of American Express shares closed at $87.67 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings and Robin Paxton

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