American Express (AXP), the consumer finance and travel company, on Monday said its profits rose 15 percent in the second quarter to $876 million, or 68 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates by a penny a share.

The results for the New York-based company compared with earnings of $762 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue hit a record $7.26 billion in the April-June period, up 14 percent from $6.36 billion a year earlier.

Its shares were up 39 cents at $48.50 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).

"Our record results this quarter reflected outstanding growth in cardmember spending among consumers, small businesses, corporations and on cards issued on our network by bank partners," chairman and chief executive officer Ken Chenault (search) said in a statement accompanying the report.

He added: "We're entering the second half of the year in excellent competitive position with strong momentum in our major businesses."

All of the company's three major divisions reported profit growth.

In travel-related services, net income rose 16 percent to $732 million, which the company said was a record level. Earnings at American Express Financial Advisors (search) were up 11 percent at $174 million, while American Express Bank reported a 4 percent rise in earnings to $28 million.

Net income for the first half of the year — reduced by a one-time charge for an accounting change in the first quarter — totaled $1.67 billion, or $1.29 a share, up from $1.45 billion, or $1.12 a share, in 2003.

Revenue for the first half was $14.17 billion, up 14 percent from $12.38 billion in the first six months of 2003.