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Mastercard sees product usage up and profits leaping

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Mastercard has reported that its profits have jumped by 70% due to an increase in the use of its products and the weakness of the dollar against the euro.

The world’s second biggest credit card company recorded a profit of £108m in the first three months of 2007. The amount spent on its cards grew 16%, while there was a 19.4% rise in transactions.

The company said that the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region were being specially targeted for new business development.

“There is a perception in the US that everyone has credit cards, but that is not true in some international markets,” said Chris McWilton, chief financial officer at Mastercard.

He added that Mastercard may look for companies to buy overseas to accelerate its growth in some regions currently under-supplied with credit products.

“These are good numbers and although Mastercard is some way behind Visa in the credit card stakes, the company is looking healthy with solid plans for growth in place,” said City analyst Colin Perry.

“Growth and expansion always go down well with traders and analysts, and Mastercard certainly has pretty ambitious plans in that direction.”

About 2.5% of the firm’s income was attributed to the movement of the euro against the dollar, which recently hit an all-time low against the European currency.

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