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Aeroplan operator Aimia swings to $24.1M loss in Q3 3; revenue rises to $543.4M

MONTREAL – Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) swung to a $24.1-million loss in the third quarter as the operator of Aeroplan and other loyalty rewards programs around the world missed on both earnings and revenue.

Montreal-based Aimia reported Wednesday after markets closed that the net loss amounted to 17 cents per share and compared with net earnings of $2.5 million or less than a penny per share in the same prior-year period.

Total revenue in the three months ended Sept. 30, helped by a favourable currency impact, rose 8.7 per cent to $543.4 million from $499.7 million. The increase was 4.9 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Adjusted net earnings of 18 cents per share were down 35.7 per cent from 28 cents in year-earlier quarter and missed estimates by two cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected adjusted earnings of 20 cents per share, as well as higher revenue of $565.5 million, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Aimia said gross billings were up 9.8 per cent at $633.2 million due to a strong performance in Canada and a favourable currency impact. On a constant currency basis, gross billings were up 5.8 per cent.

Adjusted EBITDA fell to $63.9 million from $85.7 million year over year, mainly driven by the higher cost of rewards in the Aeroplan program, lower gross billings in Europe, Middle East and Africa coalition programs and higher operating expenses, offset in part by higher gross billings in Canada.

Besides the Aeroplan loyalty program in Canada, Aimia owns and operates Nectar, the United Kingdom’s largest coalition loyalty program; Nectar Italia, Italy’s largest coalition program, and Smart Button, a leading provider of SaaS loyalty solutions.

It also has stakes in Air Miles Middle East, Travel Club, Spain’s leading coalition loyalty program; Club Premier, Mexico’s leading coalition loyalty program, and China Rewards, among others.

Note to readers: This is a correct story. An earlier version misstated 2013 third-quarter revenue as $449.7 million, instead of $499.7 million.