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American Express to cut 5400 jobs

Thursday, January 10, 2013 | 5:44 PM    

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- American Express Company said Thursday that it will slash roughly 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, as it seeks to cut costs and transform its operations as more of its customers shift to online portals for booking travel plans and other needs.

The job cuts will be partly offset by jobs that the company expects to add this year, however.

All told, American Express anticipates that staffing levels will end up being between four per cent and six per cent lower this year than in 2012. The company currently has 63,500 employees.

"Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient and more effective in using our resources to drive growth," CEO Kenneth Chenault.

Shares slipped 14 cents to US$60.65 in after-hours trading. Shares ended regular trading up 53 cents at US$60.79.

American Express said it will book an after-tax charge of $287 million due to the restructuring. It's also recording $212 million in expenses related to reward points for its cardholders and roughly $95 million in customer reimbursements and other costs.

The combined charges will reduce American Express' fourth-quarter net income by 46 per cent from a year earlier.

The company projects net income of $637 million, or 56 cents per share, compared with net income of $1.2 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the same quarter of 2011.

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