First Data Corp. today reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2008.
Consolidated revenues were up 4% to $2.2 billion. The adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up 7% to $694 million.
Loss from continuing operations was $164 million, but included $270 million of incremental interest expense, net of tax, and $124 million of incremental depreciation and amortization, net of tax, compared to the third quarter of 2007. Both the incremental interest expense and depreciation and amortization are primarily attributable to the transaction with affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (the "Transaction"). A table describing adjusted EBITDA and reconciling income (loss) from continuing operations to adjusted EBITDA is included in the accompanying schedules.
"Despite a difficult economic climate, we were able to grow revenue and adjusted EBITDA," said Michael Capellas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Our investments in product innovation are gaining momentum and you will see us announce some significant wins especially in the mobile commerce space."
For the quarter, Merchant Services generated revenues of $1 billion, a growth rate of 6% or down 3% excluding reimbursable debit network fees. Revenue was positively impacted by 9% transaction growth. This impact was offset by the slowing U.S. economy which reduced transaction growth for smaller merchants and shifted transactions to some nationwide discounters and wholesalers. Operating profit was $106 million, down 60% or down 9% to $248 million excluding purchase accounting adjustments comprised principally of increased amortization expense related to the Transaction. Operating profit margin was 36.0% excluding reimbursable debit network fees and purchase accounting adjustments, compared to 38.6% in the third quarter of 2007. Operating profit was impacted by approximately $19 million of certain costs related to cost reduction initiatives, which accounted for seven percentage points of the 9% decline noted above and also impacted the 36.0% operating profit margin by three percentage points during the quarter. Reported operating profit margin for the quarter was 10.4 %.
For the quarter, Financial Services generated revenue of $700 million, down 5% or down 8% excluding reimbursables and purchase accounting adjustments. Adjusted revenue reflects modest growth in the card issuing business. This growth was offset by lost business and check volume declines in the TeleCheck business. In addition, the third quarter of 2007 included approximately $16 million more in revenues resulting from contract termination fees compared to this quarter. Operating profit was $111 million, down 23% or down 3% to $144 million excluding purchase accounting adjustments comprised principally of increased amortization expense related to the Transaction. Operating profit margin for the quarter was 28.1% excluding reimbursables and purchase accounting adjustments, compared to 26.5% in the third quarter of 2007. Operating profit was impacted by approximately $18 million of costs related to cost reduction initiatives, which negatively impacted the 3% decline noted above by thirteen percentage points and negatively impacted the 28.1% operating profit margin by four percentage points during the quarter. Reported operating margin was 15.9% for the quarter.
For the quarter, International generated revenue of $487 million, up 19%. Revenue benefited from 21% transaction growth which was in part driven by acquisitions in prior quarters. Operating profit was $49 million, up 59% or up 79% to $54 million excluding purchase accounting adjustments related to the Transaction. Operating margin was 11.2% excluding purchase accounting adjustments related to the Transaction compared to 7.4% in the third quarter of 2007. Adjusted operating profit included the partial reversal of a loss reserve for the failed airline in one of International's merchant acquiring alliances and lower employee related expenses. These items were offset by approximately $16 million in incremental investments in data center consolidation, platform initiatives and other expenses related to cost reduction initiatives. Reported operating margin was 10.0%.
DeRodes Named CTO
First Data named Robert P. DeRodes as its Chief Technology Officer ("CTO"). DeRodes, 58, joined the company's executive management team on October 8, and reports directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Capellas. As First Data's CTO, DeRodes is responsible for global product development, systems, infrastructure and processes. DeRodes' information technology experience spans more than 39 years in a variety of industries, including financial services, retail and airlines. He recently served as executive vice president and chief information officer for The Home Depot, where he was responsible for leading the company's technology transformation over the last seven years.
First Data and InComm Holdings Inc. ("InComm") have mutually agreed to terminate their plans to merge InComm into First Data. Instead, First Data and InComm have signed a distribution agreement and will continue to support their joint customers with prepaid card processing, program management and a distribution network that allows First Data and its merchants to sell prepaid products in InComm prepaid card malls.
On November 3, First Data announced the successful termination of its joint venture, Chase Paymentech SolutionsTM, with JPMorgan Chase. First Data has assumed its 49 percent share of the merchant portfolio which includes management of the full-service ISO and Agent Bank unit of the joint venture. First Data has also assumed its proportionate share of the joint venture's assets and a portion of the joint venture's employees into its existing merchant acquiring business. First Data will continue to provide processing services for a portion of the business allocated to JPMorgan Chase.