Wright Express reports 1Q profits of $23.2M, up from $12.1M a year ago

South Portland-based Wright Express Corp. on Wednesday reported profits of $23.2 million in the first quarter, almost double the $12.1 million in the same period a year ago.

The first quarter profits were on revenues of $140.1 million, a 17 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011.

“Our performance in the first quarter, where we achieved revenue growth of 17% and adjusted net income growth of 22 percent, reflected our continued execution against our three-pronged growth strategy,” said Michael Dubyak, chairman, president and CEO. “During the quarter we made greater progress in expanding our core fleet business, with new business wins driving organic growth. Furthermore, we saw strong performance from our corporate charge card product and took additional steps to capitalize on increasing international market acceptance to accelerate the growth of this successful product. Looking ahead, with positive momentum in the business we feel optimistic about the long-term direction of our business given the growth platforms we have established.”

In year-over-year growth, Wright Express noted several areas with strong performance. Total corporate card purchase volume grew 52 percent to $2.2 billion, from $1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2011.

The average number of vehicles serviced worldwide was about 6.7 million, an increase of 13 percent from the first quarter of 2011, while U.S. retail fuel prices increased 10 percent to $3.72 per gallon from $3.38 per gallon.

Looking ahead, the company expects revenues between $145 million to $150 million for the second quarter, with profits from $36 million to $38 million. In the full year 2012, Wright Express sees overall revenues of between $602 million and $617 million, and profits of $160 million to $168 million.

According to Briefing.com, Wright’s first-quarter performance beat analysts’ expectations for revenues. The company’s second quarter projects were slightly below what analyst are projecting, however, at $150.96 million in revenues expected.

Wright Express has more than 850 employees in six countries. Wright trades under the symbol WXS on the New York Stock Exchange, and closed at $63.98 Tuesday.