Deluxe Corp. said Thursday its second-quarter profit rose 4 percent as its diversification into marketing services ­accelerated.

The company, long known for providing checks, payroll and other financial services to businesses, said its marketing services business experienced the fastest growth among its units, a 20 percent jump in revenue, and now accounts for nearly one-fourth of sales.

Executives gave a mixed outlook for the rest of the year. New guidance for third-quarter profit was below analysts' expectations, while its full-year target was in line. Deluxe shares fell 0.9 percent.

Shoreview-based Deluxe said it earned $50.1 million, or 99 cents a diluted share, in the April-to-June period. A year ago, it earned $48.2 million, or 94 cents a share, in the same period. Revenue was up 6.3 percent to $405.4 million.

The company's biggest unit, which provides services to small businesses, reported a 9 percent sales increase to $273.8 million and a 5.6 percent jump in operating profit to $48.8 million.

Evan Ramstad