April 24 (Reuters) - Credit card issuer American Express Co posted a 76% drop in first-quarter profit on Friday, as it set aside $2.6 billion to cover potential losses stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic has hammered the global economy, pushing companies to layoff employees by the millions. That, in turn, could weigh on credit card issuers like American Express as more people default on their payments.
The company's net income fell to $367 million, or 41 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31 from $1.55 billion, or $1.80 per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue, excluding interest expense, fell to $10.3 billion from $10.4 billion. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)