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Mastercard Inc MA-N beat quarterly profit expectations on Thursday as domestic spending through its cards rose and cross-border volumes grew following an uptick in international travel.

While increased vaccination and easing of pandemic-related curbs powered the recovery in spending, it was slightly dented by a surge in infections from the Omicron variant toward the end of the fourth quarter.

Gross dollar volumes, which represents the dollar value of the transactions processed, jumped 23 per cent to $2.1-trillion from a year earlier. Cross border volumes, a key metric that track card spending beyond the country of issue, rose 53 per cent.

“We had a strong fourth quarter as spending trends continued to improve, with Q4 cross-border spending now above pre-pandemic levels,” Chief Executive Michael Miebach said.

Operating expenses, however, rose 16 per cent from a year earlier to $2.4-billion, dragging shares down 1.35 per cent to $340.

The results were similar to rival American Express Co AXP-N, which beat quarterly profit estimates on record levels of spending through its cards.

Mastercard’s net revenue rose 27 per cent to $5.2-billion, above estimates of $5.16-billion.

The company’s profit rose to $2.4-billion, or $2.41 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.8-billion, or $1.78 per share a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Mastercard earned $2.35 per share, above the analysts’ average estimate of $2.21, according to Refinitiv data.

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