San Diego Encore Capital Group Inc., a San Diego-based company that buys and sells credit card debt, reported 2017 net income of $83.4 million on total revenues of $1.2 billion.
Encore, which trades on the NASDAQ exchange as ECPG, reported $78.9 million in net income on $1 billion revenue in the year prior.
President and CEO Ashish Masih said the company benefitted from an increase in the volume of charged-off credit card debt in the U.S., and that Encore expects the trend to continue this year.
“We believe industry supply will continue to grow in 2018 and beyond, driven by recent record levels of revolving credit in the U.S. coupled with statements made by issuers who are broadly indicating that increases in charge-off rates are expected to continue,” Masih said.
In Europe, Encore subsidiary Cabot Credit Management — which had previously planned to make an initial public offering, but then withdrew — acquired Wescot, which also buys and sells debt. The acquisition occurred in the fourth quarter; it made Cabot both the largest debt buyer and debt servicer in the United Kingdom.
Encore reported higher operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2017 than in 2016: $253 million, compared with $184 million. The company attributed the increase to several factors including expenses related to the withdrawn Cabot IPO, the acquisition of Wescot and tax planning related to the tax reform legislation passed in the U.S. in late 2017.
Overall operating expenses in 2017 totaled $862 million, compared with $788 million in 2016.