Also on today’s call our speakers will reference certain non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe will provide useful information for investors. Reconciliation of those measures to GAAP will be posted on the Investor Relations website at www.alliancedata.com.
With that, I’d like to turn the call over to Ed Heffernan. Ed?
Great. Thanks, Julie. Okay. We are going to right into it and joining me today is Charles Horn, our erstwhile and ever popular CFO, and down term Toronto, we have Bryan Pearson, the President of LoyaltyOne, which of course includes both the AIR MILES Program in Canada, as well our efforts in Brazil, and we welcome Bryan, he used the last of the Canadian pennies to make the journey down here.
Charles will discuss consolidated Epsilon and private label results and Bryan will walk you through LoyaltyOne results, and I will chime in at the end with a couple of comments. So that being said, Charles, take it away.Charles Horn Thanks Ed. It was a terrific start to 2012. Highlights for the first quarter of 2012 are, revenue increased 20% to $892 million, EPS increased 19% to $1.86 per share, core EPS increased 17% to $2.38 beating the company’s guidance of $2.13, excluding the year-over-year builds and phantom shares, core EPS increased 27% to $2.58, lastly, adjusted EBITDA net of running cost increased 25% to $275 million. As noted above, the 4.9 million share increase in phantom shares dampened core EPS by about $0.20 for the quarter. We expect this overhang which is directly correlated with our average share price to continue throughout 2012. Ed will talk about this further as part of his update later in this call. The key takeaway the company does not have any economic obligation to issue or cash settle this year. Let’s move to LoyaltyOne, Bryan take it away.