Earlier today, Mastercard released its financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017. We delivered another strong quarter, driven by solid momentum in our core business. This was seen in the growth of net revenue and earnings per share, before we took a couple of one-time charges.
During our conference call with investors, we were able to highlight the efforts of our teams as they execute against our strategy.
If you listened to that call, you heard how we are signing new deals and renewing relationships across many markets. Increasingly, our issuer and merchant customers are making decisions based on the value they see and are receiving from our differentiated services. These activities are being integrated across their businesses and having an impact on how they are managing and maximizing their programs.
At the same time, we shared updates on our progress across a number of areas – from the continued introduction of new Vocalink programs and value-added services to the expansion of our token technology, the foundation of secure digital payments.
We’re certainly pleased with this performance. It reflects we have solid strategy, strong relationships with our customers and a dedicated team to deliver on those plans.
These results – plus the recent tax reform in the U.S. – have presented a unique opportunity to make several focused investments, while remaining true to our strategy and our priorities:
Investing in Employees – We have always been an active and generous contributor to our employees’ benefits. The recent activities have provided us an opportunity to enhance our employer match to 10 percent for defined contribution retirement plans in those countries where employees do not have access to other pension plans. We expect this will benefit a majority of our employees, including those in the U.S.
Expanding Community Support – We launched the Center for Inclusive Growth in 2014 as a way to focus our expertise, technology and philanthropy in support of the growing middle class across many markets. Over the next several years, we will invest an additional half billion dollars to fuel philanthropic contributions, starting with an effort to assist U.S. workers as they prepare for the changing workplace. These additional investments will go beyond the impact of other existing Mastercard initiatives and the efforts of the Mastercard Foundation.
Reinforcing Strategic Opportunities – We will accelerate additional investments in strategic growth areas, such as expanding our digital infrastructure and enhancing data analytics capabilities.
We’ll continue to manage our business and pursue these opportunities in the way we always have – with an eye toward delivering value to the consumers and companies who use our products, supporting our customers and being responsible stewards on behalf of our shareholders.