"Results for the year met or exceeded all of our long-term financial targets, even though we saw clear signs of a weakening economy and business environment in December," the company says. It also added 8.5 million cards. "Marketing and related investments remained focused on premium segments of the market."
Still, it says it remains cautious in its outlook for 2008, "and we continue to expect slower earnings growth in the year ahead. We are not immune from further deterioration in the economic and credit environment, but we believe our focus on the premium sector should help us to weather the current conditions better than many competitors."