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AEFA Helps American Express Earnings

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Strong investment and insurance sales boosted second-quarter profits at American Express Company, New York.[@@]

The parent company is reporting $876 million in net income for the latest quarter on $7.3 billion in revenue, up from $762 million in net income on $6.4 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

Increases in travel sales, American Express revenue and client asset levels all helped, but a double-digit increase in net income at the American Express Financial Advisors unit played a big role, American Express says.

AEFA is reporting $174 million in net income for the latest quarter, up from $157 million in net income. Net income was up 11%.

The stock market rebound boosted management and distribution fees, but the acquisition of Threadneedle Asset Management, a thriving money manager, also helped, American Express says.

Revenue from sales of insurance annuities rose 11%, to $378 million.

American Express notes that its results and AEFA’s results include a $109 million non-cash pretax charge stemming from the company’s recent adoption of new insurance accounting standards.