Net revenue totaled $1.9 billion in the first quarter, an eight percent year-over-year increase, but when adjusted for currency, net revenue rose by nine percent, driven primarily by a 12 percent increase in gross dollar volume, 16 percent increase in cross-border volume and 12 percent increase in processed transactions.
Global purchase volume reached $690 billion in the first quarter, a 10 percent increase year-over-year. As of March 31, the company had issued 1.9 billion MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards.
“We are pleased with our first-quarter results, as we delivered solid performance that met our expectations despite the mixed global economic environment,” Ajay Banga, the president and CEO of MasterCard, said. “Since the start of the year, we have had steady momentum in new business, as well as product innovations. We signed new consumer credit agreements with Bank of America and TD Bank and secured significant wins in our APMEA region with Qantas, South Africa’s NedBank, and Japan’s Rakuten. We also signed an alliance with the Alibaba Group to explore opportunities in the Chinese market. In addition, we advanced our mobile and digital strategy with the commercial launch of MasterPass.”
Operating expenses increased by six percent year-over-year to reach $799 million, an increase driven primarily by higher personnel expenses. Operating income rose 11 percent year-over-year, contributing to an operating margin of 58.1 percent.
The company’s effective tax rate totaled 30.5 percent in the first quarter, compared to 31.8 percent in the first quarter of last year. The decrease is primarily attributed to a more favorable earnings mix and benefit from a software-related deduction.
During the first quarter, the company repurchased 1.48 million shares of Class A common stock in a deal valued at $766 million.