[IMGCAP(1)]

Strong growth of Global Payments Inc.'s merchant-services business helped boost revenue and income for the Atlanta-based processor, which announced its fourth-quarter fiscal results yesterday. Global Payments said net income for the quarter, which ended May 31, was $40.8 million, up 23% from $33.2 million during the same period a year earlier. Revenue also rose 23%, to $343.8 million from $280.1 million. Global's domestic direct business, which includes independent sales organizations, generated $182.4 million in revenue, up 18% from $154.2 million from the same period a year earlier. Global also experienced strong revenue growth in non-U.S. markets. Its largest increase was in the Asia-Pacific region, where revenue grew by 41%, to $18.9 million from $13.4 million from the same period a year earlier. Revenue from Central and Eastern Europe operations also was up 39%, to $17.4 million from $12.5 million. For the year, Global's income grew 14% to $163 million from $143 million, while revenues increased 20% to $1.27 billion from $1.06 billion at the end of fiscal 2007. Paul Garcia, Global's chairman, president and CEO, said the company's merchant-services business continues to thrive, although the company is beginning to see some softening in categories of non-discretionary consumer spending. "In some of our restaurant (business) ... we're starting to see a little softness and in some retail sectors as well," Garcia told analysts on a conference call yesterday. He added that Global's appetite for international growth is strong and the company expects to announce another overseas acquisition in the near term.

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