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Wright Express Corp., a payment-processing company for commercial and government vehicle fleets, today reported net income of $10.9 million for first quarter ended March 31, down 24.8% compared with $14.5 million a year ago. Total revenue was $69.2 million, down 25.5% from $92.9 million. The company's provision for credit losses for the quarter declined 59.2%, to $4.2 million from $10.3 million. Total operating expenses were $49.8 million, down 10.9% from $55.9 million. South Portland, Maine-based Wright Express served an average of 4.7 million vehicles during the quarter, up 4.4% from 4.5 million during the same quarter last year. Wright processed 63.3 million fuel transactions, down 2.3% from 64.8 million. Cardholders averaged 20.3 gallons of fuel per transaction Wright processed, up slightly from 20.1 gallons a year ago. The average fuel price per transaction was $2 per gallon, down 38.7% from $3.26 per gallon a year ago. On MasterCard-branded Wright Express cards, purchase volume was up 23.5%, to $649 million from $525.7 million. The net interchange rate on those transactions was 0.93%, down 12 basis points from 1.05%. Revenue from processing those MasterCard-branded payments rose 9%, to $6 million from $5.5 million. Though Wright Express experienced year-over-year erosion in fleet-transaction volume, credit losses improved, falling "to within the company's historic range," Michael Dubyak, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Wright Express management predicts that weak economic conditions will drive an estimated 10% to 15% year-over-year decline in transaction volume this year.

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