BUSINESS

Loyalty program company Aimia more than doubles Q2 profit compared with year ago

08/09/2012 07:05 EDT | Updated 10/09/2012 05:12 EDT
MONTREAL - The company behind the Aeroplan loyalty rewards program more than doubled its quarterly earnings compared with a year ago, helped by strong results at its Canadian and European businesses.

Aimia (TSX:AIM) said Thursday it earned $34.9 million or 19 cents per share for the quarter ended June 30, up from $15.3 million or seven cents per share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $504.2 million, down from $507.6 million.

Chief executive Rupert Duchesne said the Canadian business posted a strong quarter while its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa posted its fourth consecutive quarter of double digit sales growth.

"The strong performance posted by our European operations was achieved despite the ongoing challenges of a very difficult economic environment," Duchesne said in a statement.

"Based on the strength of our first half performance we are confirming our guidance for the year."

In Canada, gross billings increased to $332 million compared with $324.1 million a year ago, while billings in Europe, Middle East and Africa improved to $157.6 million, an increase of 14.4 per cent.

Gross billings in the U.S. and the Asia Pacific region slipped 19 per cent to $65.6 million.

The number of Aeroplan miles issued increased by 4.4 per cent in the quarter due to increased promotional activity, while total Aeroplan miles redeemed decreased 0.6 per cent in the quarter compared with a year ago.

Aimia owns and operates the Canadian Aeroplan loyalty program and Nectar, the U.K.'s largest coalition loyalty program.

It also has majority equity positions in Air Miles Middle East and Nectar Italia as well as a minority position in Club Premier, Mexico's leading coalition loyalty program.

Shares in the company, which reported its results after the close of markets, were up 13 cents at $13.43 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.