Global Client Wins Increased 55 Percent in 2007 as Corporations Chose American Express to be their Trusted Travel Services Partner and Managed T&E Advisor

    -- American Express Business Travel Delivered More Than $1B to Clients in
    Travel & Entertainment Savings for 2007, Effectively Reducing Costs as
    Economic Challenges Loom --

    NEW YORK, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - American Express Business Travel, a global
industry leader in business travel management, today reported $6.3 billion in
new and renewed contracts for 2007. Renewals contributed to a global retention
rate of 98 percent and sales from newly signed clients in its Global Business
segment represented an increase of 55 percent compared to 2006. In total,
American Express drove $24.6 billion in travel sales during 2007.
    Additionally, American Express Business Travel delivered more than
$1 billion in travel and entertainment savings for its North America based
middle-market, large-market and multinational clients in 2007. These hard cost
savings are calculated through a patent-pending methodology deployed through
its Savings Calculator. Strong demand for proven savings and cost control
methods factored in the Company's growth this past year and continued global
    New contracts signed in 2007 include revered companies such as L'Oreal in
Mexico, Lundbeck, McDonald's, Navigant Consulting Inc, NXP and Tyco
International. Additionally, many clients renewed and expanded their
contracts, including BASF Corp, EADS, General Motors, The McGraw-Hill
Companies, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Automation and Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    "Given current economic conditions and outlook, the solutions that we
offer are even more attractive to our customers," said Charles Petruccelli,
president of American Express Global Travel Services. "Our ability to
demonstrate the savings potential through a differentiated managed travel and
entertainment program is the reason clients want to partner with us - our
commitment to deliver unparalleled service and deliver on those savings are
the reason they stay with us."
    "As a global organization, it is important for us to ensure we not only
maximize savings through our managed travel program, but also provide
exceptional service that aligns with our brand and keeps our road warriors
productive and satisfied," said David Harris, SVP, Global Business Services,
Sun Microsystems, Inc. "We continue to choose American Express Business Travel
not only because of the Company's track record for delivering marked returns
on investment through offerings such as its Advisory Services, but also for
the Company's ability to offer exemplary service ensuring our employees are
provided maximum support. Equally important to us is the ability to have our
corporate card program combined with our business travel program."
    "We've enjoyed a long and productive relationship with American Express
Business Travel," said Bruce Ryno, The McGraw-Hill Companies' Senior Vice
President of Global Procurement and Manufacturing Services. "It is important
to us to partner with an organization that understands and can respond quickly
to the ever-changing needs of our travelers, while consistently delivering
services that help us get the most out of our T&E investment. We continue to
work with American Express because it meets these needs with a globally
scalable program."

    Regional Growth

    American Express Business Travel reported strong growth throughout North
America, citing particularly strong growth in the middle-market segment which
grew by 25 percent over 2006 in new sales. The Japan, Asia Pacific and
Australia region saw a 105 percent increase in new business revenues as
compared to 2006, while the European region reported a near 20 percent
increase in new sales and more than $1 billion in renewed contracts.
    Organic growth of the business along with strategies for acquiring and
partnering with local market companies remain key components to American
Express Business Travel's global growth strategy. In Hong Kong, the Company
bought the remaining equity stake of its joint venture partner in Farrington
American Express Travel Services Ltd., a leading Hong Kong travel services
provider, bringing the Company close to $1 billion in sales in Greater China.
Most recently, American Express Business Travel announced a joint venture with
Barcelo Business Travel in Spain, strengthening its presence in that important
business travel market.
    Contributing to last year's overall growth was the launch of several
innovative solutions and service enhancements which increased the savings and
control clients could achieve amid rising costs in a strong demand
environment. Highlights include:

    -   Completed global implementation and standardization of servicing
        technology, customer service processes and measurement

    -   Nearly 1,000 U.S. clients signed on for the American Express
        Intelligent Online Marketplace (AXIOM) to support policy enforcement
        and preferred vendor compliance at the point-of-sale

    -   AX Hotel Hub, a market leading interface bringing together
        120,000 hotel properties around the globe into a unique one-stop-shop
        and delivering better control of hotel spend with a more efficient
        way to manage corporate hotel programs both online and offline,
        launched in Europe

    -   A new Web-based management information data reporting solution,
        American Express AXIS @ Work, presents corporate travel purchasers
        and managers with centralized, online access to data on their firm's
        business expenditures after its global unveiling in 2007

    A Look Ahead

    A recent client survey revealed the top priorities companies are focused
on in 2008. The top three areas of focus include the environmental impact of a
travel program, meetings expense management and globalization.
    Providing innovation across the entire value chain to help customers
increase efficiency and save on cost will be central to American Express
Business Travel's growth strategy in 2008 and beyond. Commencing a new
three-year growth strategy, the leadership of the Company is meeting this week
for an intense two-day summit to solidify investment plans in new products,
services and technologies. These investments will further enable the Company
to provide clients with the resources they need to meet industry challenges
and take control of opportunities.
    Changes to American Express Business Travel Advisory Services were also
announced. The consulting arm of the Company will now include a primary focus
on change management. Additionally, the consulting practice areas have
expanded to include not only air, car and hotel, but also various long tail
services including ground transportation, video conferencing and package
    "We continue to look for new ways to raise the bar and enhance the value
we deliver to our customers both online and offline," continued Mr.
Petruccelli. "This year, we will be exploring new opportunities and
innovations that provide the next generation of end-to-end total travel and
expense management solutions for our clients, including continued expansion
and upgrading of our AXIOM web-based solution, the introduction of a web-based
meetings management solution, and more. At the same time, we will amplify our
relentless focus on delivering customer service excellence for our clients

    About American Express Business Travel

    American Express Business Travel
(, a division of the American Express
Company, is dedicated to helping its clients realize the greatest possible
value from their investment in travel through increased cost savings,
outstanding customer service and greater spend control. For small businesses,
medium-sized enterprises and multinational corporations, American Express
Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading booking technology,
travel management consulting expertise, strategic sourcing and supplier
negotiation support, and customer service available online and offline, around
the world.

    American Express operates one of the world's largest travel agency
networks with over 2,200 travel service locations in over 140 countries and
territories worldwide. The Company processed $24.6 billion in global travel
sales in 2007.

    American Express Company ( is a diversified
worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It
is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, and
business services.

For further information:

For further information: Emily Porro, (212) 446-1874,

Organization Profile

American Express

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890