Cielo, Brazil’s largest card payment processor, posted a 6.3 percent fall in quarterly net income as rising marketing and payroll expenses offset higher revenue. Costs of services sold rose 15 percent, while operational expenses including sales, general and administrative expenses soared 52 percent, Cielo said. The surge in expenses follows hefty pay rises approved by the card industry’s workers’ union and marketing actions to retain customers. Cielo and smaller rival Redecard are grappling with a grim industry environment since the government last year sought to break their dominance of the $420 billion-a-year sector. Rivals are slashing fees to win a bigger share of the market, prompting concerns that a price war could hamper profitability for the coming years.

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