(Reuters) - Credit card issuer American Express Co <AXP.N> reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by strength in its international business. Net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $2.02 billion, or $2.10 per share, for the second quarter ended June 30 from $1.47 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier.

However, total revenue, net of interest expense, fell 1 percent to $8.24 billion.

Analysts on average had estimated a profit of $1.95 per share and revenue of $8.40 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"During the quarter, we again made substantial investments in marketing and technology to help grow the business. At the same time, operating expenses continued to be well managed," Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault said in a statement.

AmEx, which has long catered to affluent customers, has struggled with the loss of lucrative long-term contracts for co-branded cards, such as the one with retailer Costco Wholesale Corp <COST.O>.

Net income from the company's international consumer business rose 18 percent to $228 million, helped by higher revenue from bank partnerships and spending on its cards.

Total costs fell about 15 percent to $4.76 billion, boosted by a gain from sale of a loan portfolio.

AmEx shares were up about 1 percent at $65.20 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

Graphic: Credit card earnings (http://tmsnrt.rs/1nncv98)

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Sudarshan Varadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)