TSYS sells operations in Japan

Columbus-based TSYS, a processor of credit and debit card transactions for retailers and other businesses, said it has sold its operations in Japan, which the company said had been underperforming.

The company has operated in Japan since 2000, when it purchased a majority stake in GP Network Corp. The company said Tuesday that it had sold its 54 percent stake in GP Network to Visa, a minority investor in the company. TSYS also sold TSYS Japan Inc. to former company executives.

“I hope that these dispositions didn’t surprise anybody as I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions over the past several years that we were not happy with our progress and our growth in Japan,” Philip Tomlinson, chairman and chief executive officer, said during a conference call Tuesday with analysts, according to a transcript of the call.

The company said there are no other markets the company is seeking to leave.

The announcement came as TSYS released its first-quarter results. Net income fell to $49.3 million, or 26 cents a share, from $57 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose to 32 percent to $592.8 million. The company said expenses grew faster than revenue growth partly due to increased incentive pay and salary adjustments.

While it unloaded its business in Japan, TSYS increased its stake in San Rafael, Calif.-based Central Payments Co., a provider of transaction processing services and social marketing software, to to a 75 percent ownership. The company paid $37.5 million for an additional 15 percent stake.