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American Express to cut 5,400 jobs

Chief executive Kenneth Chenault said the cuts will allow for more efficiency.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Chief executive Kenneth Chenault said the cuts will allow for more efficiency.

LOS ANGELES — American Express Co. said Thursday that it will slash roughly 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, as it seeks to cut costs and transform its operations as more of its customers shift to online portals for booking travel and other needs.

The job cuts will be partly offset by jobs that the company expects to add this year, however.

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All told, American Express anticipates staffing levels will end up being between 4 percent and 6 percent lower this year than in 2012. The company has 63,500 employees.

‘‘Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient, and more effective in using our resources to drive growth,’’ said chief executive Kenneth Chenault.

The shares slipped 14 cents to $60.65 after hours; they had risen 53 cents to $60.79 in regular trading.

American Express said it will book an after-tax charge of $287 million due to the restructuring. It’s also recording $212 million in expenses related to reward points for its cardholders and roughly $95 million in customer reimbursements and other costs.

The combined charges will reduce American Express’s fourth-quarter net income by 46 percent from a year earlier.

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