Pointing to a strong diversified global portfolio, Western Union Co. executives said growth in the Middle East and Asia allowed the company to overcome slowdowns in other countries.

In particular, prepaid revenue increased 6% in the second quarter over last year, executives said, but Western Union's financial statement did not break down dollar amounts in prepaid.

The Englewood, Colo.-based funds transfer provider's net income rose 3% during the second quarter, to $271.2 million, from $263.2 million a year ago. Its revenue increased 4%, to $1.425 billion, compared to $1.37 billion a year ago.

Western Union expects continued future growth because of its expanding prepaid card market, Hikmet Ersek, the company's president and CEO, told analysts during a July 24 earnings conference call.

The company expects a significant boost in its prepaid card distribution over the next several quarters in light of signing an agreement with Dollar General Corp., Ersek noted.

Western Union announced last week that Dollar General would distribute Western Union general-purpose reloadable prepaid cards at more than 10,000 stores in 40 states.

"And our global expansion continues as we will shortly be launching special receiver focus prepaid cards in the Philippines," Ersek added. "We are building a solid foundation for stored value and these recent actions are major steps to drive growth in the future."

The company reported a 26% increase in electronic channel revenue compared to a year earlier, but did not provide dollar amounts.

The increase in electronic payments continues momentum that Ersek previously discussed at the end of the first quarter of 2012 as being a result of the development of WU Pay, which allows online shoppers in the U.S. to pay for purchases from their bank accounts or in cash at Western Union agent locations.

Western Union reported 510,000 agent locations across the globe, up from 470,000 during the second quarter of last year.

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