ATLANTA First Data Corp. reported this morning that losses rose again in the fourth quarter to $179 million, and to $701 million for the full year, as the card processing giant continued to battle debt service related to its huge 2007 leveraged buyout, one of the biggest in history.
Full year losses were $516 million for 2011.
Revenue growth of 3% for the fourth quarter, to $2.76 billion, and flat for the year at $10.7 billion, was not enough to overcome the massive interest payments funding the $27 billion LBO by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Interest payments on the LBO debt rose in both the fourth quarter, to $467 million, and the full year, to $1.8 billion.
Meantime, the company announced that Ed Labry, a well-known industry figure who once headed Concord EFS and has been serving as head of the company’s core North America unit, was named interim CEO, after the resignation of Jonathan Judge earlier this month for health reasons.
Operating profit improved 14% or $132 million, but was more than offset by an increase in interest expense and a decline in other income and expense driven by mark-to-market losses on interest rate swaps as well as the prior year one-time gain described above, the company reported in a news release this morning.